Though I am still on the fence about Words Can Change Your Brain, reading it inspired me to keep a “happiness journal.” Once a day since mid-October, I’ve been reviewing the day or the previous day and searching for three events or observations that made me happy. Nothing revolutionary is happening but what I find is that asking these questions and changing my focus and taking me towards a “tipping point” that often leads to a more positive direction for the day.
Lately, I’m finding a lot of “tipping point” thinking in a lot of the top holistic career books. What Color is Your Parachute explains for example:
In any situation, no matter how much we may feel we are at the mercy of vast forces out there,that are totally beyond our control, we can always find something that is within our control and work on that.
Laurence Boldt in Zen and the Art of Making a Living devotes a significant portion of his book asking readers to think about and tap into memories of when they have been powerful by recalling:
- Times of great creativity.
- Moments of commitment in the face of obstacles.
- Decisive moments.
- Times when they accomplished something in the face of discouragement from others.
- Times of being so absorbed in projects that they didn’t notice the time passing.
I just stumbled across all these great thoughts in my samurai mind notebook. The great thing about keeping positive projects, thoughts and inspirations and reviewing them regularly is not that I turn into a “happiness robot” but that by reviewing and creating my notebooks, I regularly get challenged into a proactive stance.
Apparently these practices of searching for the good and powerful is endorsed by a field called positive psychology. Apparently, it might be good to build up your strong points and focus on daily moments of happiness, rather than focusing on what is “wrong” with you.
Obstacles and trying times will come. As Bob Marley wrote, “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts don’t you complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts. Put your vision to reality!”
Ask powerful questions. Find three happiness moments. Find your samurai tipping point.