Commitments that required me to be away from computers and phones deprived me of listening to all the Wake Up Happy webinars during their November broadcast two weeks ago. But I was happy (no pun intended) to hear Louis Alloro’s presentation, “Enabling Positive Evolution.”
Positive Evolution = Empowering people to empower others.
Louis Alloro is one of the first hundred people in the world to earn a degree in Applied Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. He had the privilege of working with Dr. Martin Seligman, former president of the American Psychological Association, known for his landmark research, first in learned helplessness and then, learned optimism. Louis shared the following thoughts with us.
What is bringing so many people into the search for authentic happiness? It is our birthright to live a happy and fulfilling life!
But life is about having a full range of difficult emotions. How do we “course correct” to stay positive?
We need to keep a reserve of positive emotions in our psychological bank account. Try to put yourself in positions that bring you great joy, to create those “joy deposits.”
It’s like a game – developing the “muscle” of being mindful.
The psychological mindfulness muscle is like a physical muscle – you have to keep going to the gym or exercising it to keep it up. “Happiness is not for sissies, and it takes work!” says Dr. James Pawelski. One in front of the other, passion is one foot and perseverance is the other.
You hear the rain on the window and you have a choice – be negative and ruminate on it, or choose positivity. Think: “I am so grateful the grass is getting fed today!” We appreciate the sun more when we have the rain to contrast with it. And then there are the rainbows.
Theologians and philosophers have asked questions about happiness for ages. But for psychologists, the nature of happiness is a new field of study. Most of us aren’t exposed to this study of positive psychology. That’s why exposing ourselves to positive influences such as these webinars is so important. We can choose happiness.
Silence the mind chatter and focus on your “true north.” Try to take care of things you’ve been putting off forever. This creates mental focus you can use for important life planning. Things like identifying out own “true north” are what really is most important to us.
With every breath, we have a choice. Choose love.
Put the past behind you. Close your past. Create forgiveness. Strengthen your relationships. Happiness comes first. Happy people are successful people, and our wellbeing impacts our success.
Find a way to freak out with joy! Really let yourself get excited about something in your life. Appreciate what you are experiencing. A good way to do this is to go out into nature and savor its beauty. Have moments of awe watching a sunrise or sunset, the waves on the beach or the wind through the trees.
Taking Louis’ advice for myself, I banked a few joy deposits last weekend attending music and culture events – good music really makes me happy!
What will you do this week to develop your happiness muscles?
Make some deposits into that joy account!
Feel empowered and go forth to empower others.