Note: This is a guest essay by Harriet Cabelly.
Are you right now telling yourself a story with a “When I…” or an “If I…”
‘When’ I finish school, when I get a house, when I lose weight, when I get married…. “
‘If’ I only had more room, if I had a better job, if I were thinner, prettier, if I had more money……
These “If’s” and “When’s” are all about your outside circumstances – and only 10% of your happiness is actually based on your outside circumstances.
That’s not just my opinion. It’s a perspective based on research from Sonja Lyubomirsky, psychologist and researcher in the field of happiness and well being.
Surprise, surprise that only 10% is conditional on our situations.
Who would’ve thought it to be so low considering we all constantly and naturally say, “when” and “if”….
But low and behold, these “when’s” and “if’s” don’t really influence our well-being and happiness as much as we might think.
Because these when’s and if’s are based in “externals” – which are outside jobs.
Our truest state of well-being is always an inside job.
Sadly, many people believe that happiness is something which is an external condition. No matter how many suicides and addictions of the rich and famous people we read/hear about, we still haven’t gotten this notion that fame and fortune doesn’t seem to be cutting it in terms of happiness and well being.
We continue to buy the fancy packaging that all we have will equal all we feel. But we see over and over again that success does not equal happiness. Rather research is now pointing out that the opposite is true: happiness brings success.
This “inside job” is also the 40% area which Lyubomirsky says we can control and work on!
Think about it. It’s our attitude, actions, and beliefs that are in our control, that we can shape and create. It is up to us to intentionally input that which will enhance our lives and bring meaning and joy.
One big factor that revs up our internal system are positive feelings. Barbara Fredrickson, a psychologist who studies positive emotions, states that increasing this internal state helps improve our well-being and opens us up to new possibilities.
Get inspired, by whatever does it for you.
For me it’s stories of people triumphing over adversity.
I love reading books written by inspiring people – and watching their movies – and most of all just listening to their stories.
Plus, I work with people who inspire me as I counsel them through their challenges, as they cope and grow beyond.
I’m a curator of stories of transcendence; and even created a book out of it.
Your inner spring will begin to take on new depths of richness and well-being as you purposefully choose to manage and work on that 40% that’s in your purview.
Living Well Despite Adversity: Inspiration for Finding Renewed Meaning and Joy in Your Life. Find out more about Harriet by visiting her website and/or joining her on Facebook.This essay is written by Harriet Cabelly, an author, social worker and positive psychology coach. Harriet counsels clients as they cope and grow beyond their grief and adversities. She is one of the coaching experts on New York’s AM970 The Answer radio show, Conversations with Joan, and has appeared on ABC and Fox news as a parenting coach. She published (independently) her first book,
Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.