But I am not talking about those fleeting moments of happiness that we all have but a foundation and sense of well being that transcends momentary joy. The darkness But for many once that fleeting moment is past, familiar feelings of dread show up. Postive emotions – Feeling good Engagement – Finding flow Relationships – Authentic connections Meaning – Purposeful existence Achievement – A sense of accomplishment The big question is how do you nourish each step? 12 Years ago when confronted with a series of life changing experiences that threatened my world as I knew it, I stumbled upon a book “The Power of Now” by Eckart Tolle. But I had to learn new beliefs and create new ways of thinking. Step 1: See the connection between adversity, belief and consequence. B: Then record your beliefs and this is how you interpret the adversity – what are your thoughts at the time. In his investigations of “optimal experience” he revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. The friends we meet and interact with leave a ripple that transcends time as we change their lives by what we share. But there is another benefit that achieving in even small ways that is motivating and produces a feeling and a glow of success.
But I am not talking about those fleeting moments of happiness that we all have but a foundation and sense of well being that transcends momentary joy.
We know when we feel those joyful moments.
A completed task.
Experiencing a beautiful sunrise.
A goal achieved.
Having your work affirmed.
A time spent with friends connecting and laughing.
But joy can be fleeting.
But for many once that fleeting moment is past, familiar feelings of dread show up.
Reality creeps in.
Often it turns up as we awake. In darkness.
Fears both real and imagined knock on our front door. Debilitating and demotivating.
Fears about money, relationships and life that challenge our security.
George Harrison sums up what many of us have felt as we move through life in those dark moments in his song “Beware of Darkness”
“Watch out now, take care.
Beware of the thoughts that linger.
Winding up inside your head.
The hopelessness around you.
In the dead of night”
But how do reduce those dark thoughts that linger that show up just before dawn on awakening?
Is it a series of life habits?
What we all need and crave is to create a life that takes joyful moments and stitches it together into a life of fulfilment.
Building a life that flourishes despite the pain and sorrow that inevitably appear. That sustains us with an inner sense of well being. A foundation so strong that it will support us when times get tough.
How do you achieve that?
It is an ecosystem and process that becomes a series of habits.
It is a big project and it is the work of a lifetime.
The “well being” model
Martin Seligman in his book Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being he outlines the PERMA model as a scientifically based model of well being.
It is one of the best approaches I have seen about creating a life that is about innate and sustainable well being and success.
He is commonly known as the father of positive psychology. The model is based upon 5 pillars and distilled into the acronym “PERMA”.
- Postive emotions – Feeling good
- Engagement – Finding flow
- Relationships – Authentic connections
- Meaning – Purposeful existence
- Achievement – A sense of accomplishment
The big question is how do you nourish each step?
What activities are needed to have that foundational feeling of well being?
To arrive at flourishing.
1. Positive emotion
The big question here is how do you “manufacture” positive emotions. Is that possible?
The nature and nurture challenge is that many of us are born somewhere on the spectrum of innate pessimism and its opposite, optimism.
Can you learn optimism?
12 Years ago when confronted with a series of life changing experiences that threatened my world as I knew it, I stumbled upon a book “The Power of Now” by Eckart Tolle.
It’s simple premise?
“The past has gone and it is what it is, The future hasn’t happened and doesn’t exist. All you have is now. And what’s wrong with this moment”
This thought process alone made a significant impact on my life, beliefs and attitudes. But I had to learn new beliefs and create new ways of thinking.
The darkness of internal chatter
But for all of us there is a monster in the room. It sits on our shoulder. Whispering.
It’s our consciousness.
We need to develop the habit of banishing it to being the uninvited enemy.
This a Wolf in sheeps clothing.
Maybe the word thinking as owned and being “you” is overrated
We are the listener.
Not the thinker.
We need to label this chatter and conversation for what it is.
As the uninvited guest.
The evil uncle, who if they showed up and stayed for a visit you would send them on their way.
We need to label this debilitating visitor for what they are.
Learned optimism habits
Another simple daily habit is to be grateful. Write down every day three things that you are grateful for.
But according to Seligman when we encounter adversity we react by thinking about it.
These then become…