Cougars know that nothing feels better and is more productive than feeling happy. Happiness is the magic ingredient that turns dreams in reality. But, happiness can be elusive, especially when each day we are struggling to find the time to do everything that needs to get done. To change your happiness robbing patterns you must learn how to give a higher priority ranking to the things that will make a positive difference in your life.
To understand how to prioritize to your benefit, try using the 80/20 rule. Wilfred Pareto, a 19th-century economist, discovered that 80% of the world's wealth was concentrated in the hand of 20 percent of the population. And, that theory didn't apply only to wealth. This 80/20 divide seemed to hold true in nearly everything we do.
• 80 per cent of your time is spent on 20 per cent of your problems.
• 80 per cent of your successes come from 20 per cent of your efforts.
To test this theory for yourself do an 80/20 audit on the people, activities and situations in your life. Ask yourself these questions:
• What are the 20 per cent of your activities that bring you 80 per cent of your results?
• What are the 20 per cent of your activities that you experience 80 per cent of your happiness?
• Who are the 20 per cent of the people in your life with whom you share 80 per cent of your best experiences?
Many people, including me, create a sense of optimism in their lives simply by focusing on the many things we have to feel good about. In one fascinating study, happiness psychologist Dr Robert Holden showed that if a group of depressed people regularly think about things that make them feel good, their brain chemistry changes so much that they can no longer stay depressed. Within six month happiness had been hardwired into their brain. That's pretty impressive.
Here's a technique that might work for you. Focus your mind on a time you felt very happy. Then squeeze your thumb and index finger together on your right hand as you recall this memory fives times. This creates an endorphin switch which gets more powerful with every squeeze.
We all know that the more you use a muscle, the stronger it gets. So start strengthening your happiness muscle and then sit back and watch what happens