Happiness Is a Choice
Happiness is a choice, according to Aristotle. Happiness happens THROUGH you, not TO you. See how he suggests directing your activities to achieve happiness and abundance.
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Today on The BIGG Success Show, we discussed how to turn negative thoughts into happiness. Here’s a summary of the show…
BIGG Challenge: Negative thoughts
We all have them. A quick Google search shows studies stating that the average person has 40,000 negative thoughts a day. 50% to 90% of all our thoughts are thought to be negative.
Some negative thoughts are positive. They keep us from danger.
But most of our negative thoughts produce negative results. And more severe than you might think.
A story on CBS Minnesota quotes Dr. Caroline Leaf – the thought leader on thoughts, who said, “75% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life.”
So how can you overcome negative thoughts? Choose happiness.
BIGG Solution: Choose happiness
We want to place two disclaimers upfront:
(1) The following discussion is NOT meant for people who are clinically depressed. If that describes you, our only advice is to see a professional.
(2) If you are experiencing one of the 3 D’s (death, divorce, disease), you need to give yourself the time it takes to go through the grieving process.
Aristotle on happiness
Now for all the rest of us, we discovered an interesting book: Aristotle’s Way*. It’s written by Edith Hall, a professor of the Classics.
We humans today tend of think of happiness as a state of being. It’s a passive thing, something that happens TO you.
According to Aristotle – one of the most intelligent people in the history of the world – happiness is a choice. It’s active, something that happens THROUGH you.
And it’s directed activity. Directed at finding your purpose and reaching your potential, according to Aristotle.
It reminded us of our definition of BIGG success. (For our regulars, please bear with us, while we catch the newbies up.) Here’s our definition of BIGG success…
BIGG success is inner peace which flows from three sources:
(1) finding and fulfilling your calling
(2) striving daily to reach your full potential
(3) staying true to your vision and values
Substitute happiness with inner peace, and we agree with Aristotle.
Death and happiness
But Aristotle isn’t the only person to make the observation that happiness is a choice. People who are dying get it, too.
If you want to learn a lot of living, talk with people who are dying. Bronnie Ware did that as a job. She cared for people with no hope of recovery in their final days.
She documents the regrets of the dying in her book, titled The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying*. One of their biggest regrets was not being happier.
She says, “Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice.” Many people remain unhappy because they get stuck in old patterns and habits.
This jives with Aristotle – happiness is a habit.
Bronnie says happiness results from being willing to take on change (we would add “or to make change happen), laugh more, and be silly again.
That last point is so important. Studies show we lose most of our creativity before we finish first grade. Embrace your child-like nature to ramp up your creativity.
Albert Einstein – another guy who knew a thing or two – said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
In the pursuit of happiness, you will become more creative. Your creativity will help you get past old challenges and will spark new opportunities. Which will bring on more abundance. That’s BIGG success!
Happiness doesn’t just happen. You make it happen. >>Click to Tweet<<
Here’s to your BIGG success!
George “The Professor” & Mary-Lynn
Co-Founders, BIGG Success
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Note: Links in this post with ‘*’ denote an affiliate link, which means if you purchase the resource we linked to, we’ll get a nominal amount from the sale.