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The Determinant of One’s Happiness

The Determinant of One's Happiness

One of the most empowering and sometimes simultaneously destructive truths is that you always find what you’re looking for.

If you look for the positive in a person, an event, a scenario or a situation, then you will find something positive.

If you look for the negative in a person, an event, a scenario or a situation, then you will find something negative.

Which suggests that it matters much less what is, and matters much more what you think about what is.

You then, are the author of your own life.

You are the creator of your own happiness or unhappiness.

Your positivity or negativity is completely your own fault.

What we need to train ourselves to do then is not to spend so much time looking for a better situation, thinking that there is an easier way, or wishing some person was different.

Instead, we need to train ourselves to see the positive in whatever it is we are looking at.

We need to focus on looking for the positive in each scenario.

We need to be intentional about finding the good in every circumstance.

And we need to be deliberate about seeing the best in other people.

We need to notice what is right with the world and what is right with the people in our world.

Because it is a peculiar truth of the human mind that we often care less about accuracy and more about just proving ourselves right.

So whatever we decide to be true about ourselves, our friends, our jobs, and our circumstances is what our brain will seek to validate as right.

Our brain typically searches for and recognizes only the information that supports its original premise.

So be careful.

Be careful what you choose.

Because whether you choose to see the positive or the negative is what is likely to actually become true for your life and be the determinant of your happiness.

The Power of Personal Choice with Stephen Hanselman – Episode 168 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

personal choice

Stephen Hanselman began his career as a bookseller 30 years ago and refined his passion for publishing at Harvard Divinity School, where he served as director of the bookstore. After graduating Harvard in 1986 with a Master of Theological Studies degree, he founded Divinitas Books, a specialty chain and direct-mail operation. After selling his business in 1991, he joined HarperSanFrancisco. This began a 13-year tenure at HarperCollins in a variety of roles including marketing, sales, editorial, and from 1999-2005 as publisher of HarperSanFrancisco. From 2002 to 2005 Steve was group publisher responsible for HarperBusiness, HarperResource, and HSF. Stephen is a co-author of the book, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Self-Mastery, Perseverance and Wisdom: Featuring New Translations of Seneca, Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus.

Show Highlights:

  • “Some things are in our control and others are not.” – Epictetus @SteveHanselman
  • Most of what we know about stoicism comes from the writings of the three figures found in this book. @SteveHanselman
  • Virtue is the source of happiness. @SteveHanselman
  • We cannot have our hope based on external things. @SteveHanselman
  • We have to focus on the things that are in our control, the decisions and choices that are ours alone to make.  @SteveHanselman
  • If you want to get good out of this life, you have to get it from yourself. @SteveHanselman
  • Stoic disciplines help us turn away from the false values we put on external things. @SteveHanselman
  • The pursuit of virtue makes us effective in our lives and brings joy in what we experience. @SteveHanselman
  • The 4 primary stoic virtues: self-control, courage, justice and wisdom. @SteveHanselman
  • When we work with others we have to see it their way. @SteveHanselman
  • We need to continually ask ourselves, ‘To what is my soul committed?’ @SteveHanselman
  • There is no virtue in things staying the same, and there is no evil in things changing. @SteveHanselman
  • Too often we give our time and energy to things we should just say ‘no’ to. @SteveHanselman
  • Inside of every circumstance, we always have a choice to how we will respond. @rory_vaden
  • Busy is not something that happens to you; It is something you allow. @rory_vaden

To find out more about Stephen, learn about Stoicism and get your copy of his book visit: Dailystoic.com

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

How to Battle the feeling of being Overwhelmed

overwhelmed

Today I am tired.

I feel defeated.

I’m overwhelmed by the incessant and never ending stream of emails.

I feel beaten down by the daunting list of tasks and projects that come in faster than I can keep up with them.

How is it that no matter how hard I work or how long I work I can never seem to be caught up?

I never seem to make a dent.

And even though I work and strive relentlessly, somehow I feel as if I’m a failure.

How is that possible?

And then I remember it’s only possible when I lose perspective.

It’s only possible when I forget what I’m really doing.

It only occurs when I lose sight of what success really is.

Success isn’t a zero inbox.

Success isn’t being all caught up.

Success isn’t feeling like everything is under control.

No.

Success is knowing I am doing my best.

Success is being confident that I’m giving all I have.

Success is believing that I’m laying it all on the line in pursuit of worthy causes that support me and other people I care about.

Because if I’m doing my best, if I’m doing everything I know how to do, and if I’m trying to balance a lot of competing interests then I have nothing to worry about.

All anyone can ask me to do is the best I know how to do.

So I will keep perspective.

I will remain peaceful.

And I will work steadily as fast as I can and as slow as I have to.

But I will not trade my happiness and stress level for the impossible task of keeping up with all there is to do.

Instead I will do my best.

And rest easy knowing that is the one and only real thing I have to do.

Joanne Miller: Creating a Haven of Peace – Episode 153 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Peace

Joanne Miller is an artist, speaker and author with her newest book, Creating a Haven of Peace, released this month. She married Dan Miller in 1968 and together they run 48 days. Joanne and Dan are great examples of living a peaceful life and having a healthy marriage.

Show Highlights:

  • We live in a world so busy and stress producing – you need a place to go where you can escape the stressors that live outside your home. @48daysteam
  • Your home can and should be a sanctuary. @48daysteam
  • Peace in the home starts with Respect. @48daysteam
  • Difficult times in our lives can be learning experiences if you look at them that way and don’t let them define who you are. @48daysteam
  • We get so involved in the clutter in our lives that we don’t take the time to enjoy our homes. @48daysteam
  • Making time for each other is a key ingredient to a healthy marriage. @48daysteam
  • If you’re stressed, ask yourself, “when was the last time I went to church and exercised?” @rory_vaden
  • Comparison is the thief of joy and creator of mediocrity. @rory_vaden
  • It’s not about beating other people – There is no value in thinking “I’m going to beat somebody else.”  @rory_vaden
  • Our level of peace is direct reflection of how well we are in sync with the people around us. @rory_vaden
  • You don’t want to choose to be right, but to do right. @rory_vaden
  • Admitting wrong was not the same thing as admitting defeat. @rory_vaden

Click Here to learn more about Joanne, her books and for tips on how to create a haven of peace.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting™ every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

God Will Meet You Half Way

What happens when you are completely self-disciplined and you do everything in your power and things still don’t work out the way you wanted them to? How do you deal with that? What does that mean? This question and others like it are common for people to ask me in attempting to explain their own shortcomings in life, their own unfortunate tragedies and disappointments in life, or out of curiosity for finding out how I deal with mine.

For example I’ve had many people in the last few years ask me how I felt about coming in 2nd place in the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking. They often ask if I would enter the contest again, or if I’m upset, or how I’ve developed peace about falling short of one of – what was at the time- the most important goals in my life.

In order to understand my response you have to first understand the payoffs of self-discipline. The payoffs of self-discipline are many but the two primary ones are peace and freedom. Peace is the one that is relevant here.

In the forthcoming Take the Stairs book there is an entire chapter on The Perspective Principle of Faith but the basic premise of the chapter is that Faith is choosing to trust that what is happening now is for a greater good later on. The beauty of investing self-discipline into any endeavor or goal is that at the end of the day, when the results are tallied, or the outcome is delivered then you are able to know with absolute supreme confidence that you did every single thing that you had control over to make it work.

And because of the confidence you can have that you did everything in your power then you can absolutely know for sure that if things didn’t turn out the way you wanted, then God must have some reason for why things didn’t turn out the way you hoped. See the payoff? If you did everything you could and didn’t get the results you wanted, then you know God wanted it to go the way it did because if he wanted it to go another way – it would’ve. So there is PEACE in knowing that it went exactly the way it was supposed to because you know that it wasn’t your fault even though you “fell short” or that you experienced some pain or tragedy.

The bummer about doing things half-assed or with a lack of commitment is that when they don’t work out the way you want them to then there is no way to know for sure if it’s your fault or if it’s his plan. So there is frustration and despair. Frustration and despair is what waits for those who wait to work.

Peace is the payoff from someone with self-discipline because they live a life focused on controlling what they can control and focused on having Faith in God for the rest. It’s kind of like my close friend and Southwestern student manager Tracey once told me, “God will meet you half way. Do your best and let him deal with the rest.”

If you’re doing your best and things aren’t going the way you hoped then take heart and relax knowing that someone else is in control and you are operating perfectly within that plan. If you’re not doing you best, then get your butt to work.

See you in the stairwell,

Rory Vaden
Take the Stairs – Success means doing things you don’t want to do