Be happy and aim even higher

Who I am
Robert Maurer

Be happy and aim even higher

Last update: October 08, 2017

We are always waiting for something. We believe that when we have a better job, when we move to a new home, when we travel more often or when we have earned more by the end of the month, then we will know what it means to be happy. But no.

If we aren't already, we probably won't be when all these things come true (if they ever happen), because whoever does not know how to appreciate what he already has is condemned to be a slave to his own ambition.

This reflection highlights a very frequent problem, both in people and in situations. We have learned to be ambitious, to want more, not to be satisfied with what we are given and always chasing something else. But it escapes us that the goal is not the top, that getting high is useless if we haven't enjoyed the view as we climbed, that being happy means living in the moment. Because at the top, regardless of what it is, you stay there for very little ...

"If you are not happy with what you have, you will not be happy with what you lack either"

-Erich Fromm-

When we are able to visualize what we lack from the point of view in which we find ourselves, with energy throughout the journey and aware of what we have achieved, to see what we are about to accomplish with enthusiasm and will, then we approach happiness. And it is neither above nor below: it is in us.

We are not talking about conformism or limiting yourself to your comfort zone, you need to want more and know you can get it, but facing the challenge with a broad inspiring smile, to give more value to everything you already have. If we can feel satisfied with everything that is already ours, and even then we want to have more, we will have discovered the key to success, to our success.

"The pleasure is not in the when, but in the while"

-Carlos Andreu-

Be happy and train positive visualization

In 1967 the Australian psychologist Alan Richardson carried out an interesting experiment with which he highlighted the power of visualization. In the first phase of the investigation he proposed to the people he had involved to make free throws at the basket while he took note. Subsequently, he divided this group of people into three subgroups. The idea was to see how their shooting technique would change over the next twenty days.

The first group spent twenty minutes a day training in free throws, the second group never trained and neither did the third group, but the members of the latter spent twenty minutes a day visualizing themselves hitting the basket.

After twenty days, Richardson checked the players' ability again and found that the first group had improved their performance by 24%, the second had not improved in the slightest, while the third group, the one who practiced visualization, had improved. 23%.

Another experiment carried out by Daniel Gilbert, a professor at Harvard University, made it possible to establish that we can obtain twice as much from the situations that those who make happy. In his experiment, a group of people were invited to have a free dinner in a good restaurant. Everyone could choose which day to dine on. The people who delayed dinner were more satisfied: they not only enjoyed the evening, but also the thought of how much they would like dinner.

What conclusions can we draw from these experiments? The importance of a positive image of ourselves or our forward-looking experiences, reaching goals, having fun, reaching goals and overcoming challenges, trains our brain so that it is easier to overcome these challenges.

As various theories argue, thinking about something with greater intensity does not allow us to get closer to it. However, training the mind brings us closer to the goal. Athletes who compete in speed races know this very well: during the warm-up, they mentally rehearse the start, repeatedly, visualize it.

That mental training can have a similar effect to real training is due to very special neurons: mirror neurons.

Does what you already own make you happy?

We can spend our lives looking for happiness, as do those who search for precious metals hidden in the sand of the beach or who plumb the dirt for gold nuggets. We can do this or try to find a balance, in which our dreams certainly count, but also positive emotions. Those that give off positivity when we stop to observe what we have achieved.

This balance will make us live the present to the fullest and help us to face our aspirations differently. It will allow us to see them as desirable and accessible, but not indispensable, destinations. It will not stop motivating us in our progress, but at the same time it will mitigate the impact that backsliding may have. Can you think of something more precious to be happy?

“Happiness is like a trick that you are looking for and that you don't realize when you have it. It's retroactive, you know it later. You can find happiness anywhere, but you have to know how to capture it, to know that you have it.

-Stephane Brosse-

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