Choices that weren’t yours to make

Holding our happiness hostage

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Harvard’s most popular course in the history is positive psychology.

Shahar’s curriculum about the psychological aspects of life fulfillment and flourishing has been standing room only for more than a decade.

One of the key tenants to his philosophy is the critical skill of choosing.

It’s the highest form of creation, the professor says, and choices can create momentum by launching a chain reaction whose impact is greater than what we can foresee at the moment the choice is made.

And so, if we want to stop holding our happiness hostage, we have to be aware of the fact that there is a always choice to make. Otherwise we relinquish control over our ability to improve our life. Consider a few of these examples.

Instead of viewing life as a wearying burden that pins us down with obligations, we choose to believe this world is truly ours for the enjoying.

Instead of taking the bait and getting inexorably drawn into a vortex of despair, we choose to exist in a place of enduring contentment with ourselves.

Instead of tolerating feelings of shame and degradation over our state of happiness, we choose to allow ourselves to be carried along in the sudden momentum of the joy of living.

Instead of mentally tormenting ourselves regarding every single thing that could possibly go wrong, we choose to keep moving until we find something positive about our situation.

Instead of viewing our life as a hopeless speck of dust lost in an vast and unfathomably dark void, we choose to gift ourselves with small joys without guilt or afterthought.

Instead of allowing our minds to become totally consumed with intrusive, irrational thoughts, we choose to erase programming that does not serve us anymore.

Instead of indulging in feelings about our own wretchedness and building a case about why we’re so pathetic, we choose to surround ourselves with people who make us feel seen for our deepest talents.

That’s power.

Next time you’re forced to run the full gauntlet of your neuroses, remember this.

The more choices we make, the more in control we feel; and the more in control we feel, the easier it is for happiness to have a real chance at us.

How many other choices have you not considered because it seemed that they weren’t yours to make?

For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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