Mary Ann Troiani

Article Summary:

The key to happiness is learning how to be optimistic, and how to enjoy life every day.

The Key To Happiness: Learning How To Be Optimistic And Happy

When you wake-up in the morning do you say: "Oh's morning" or do you day "Thank God it's morning and I look forward to today." Why are some people so happy and optimistic and other so unhappy and pessimistic?

Are you frequently in a bad mood or just plan unhappy? There are easy ways to beat the blues or even a bad day. Good moods or a peppy personality is not a disposition you are born with or without. You are not doomed to stay unhappy the rest of your life. Your level of happiness is a learned skill.It's easy to learn. Anyone can learn to bust a bad mood or look at the world through more happy or optimistic eyes. Do you want to improve your mood or become more happy and optimistic? If so, read on.

In our studies of happy and optimistic people, we discovered key methods they use to stay ultra-motivated. This motivation fuels their ability to accomplish their goals and, ultimately, attain their vision. I will show you these methods so you can put them into action to become more healthy, prosperous, and happy. Importantly, these are totally learnable techniques and skills. You do not have to be born this way. Also, you do not have to worry that it is too late in your life to grasp it. All you need to do is practice these skills each day so you can benefit. You will learn five essentials of making yourself ultra-motivated.

5 Essentials To Feel Ultra-Motivated
You can supercharge your motivation when you use the five essentials underlying all motivation, ambition, and drive. These elements form the foundation for you continuously feeling motivated.

To benefit, simply keep these essentials in mind all day every day. Eventually, they will turn into beneficial habits. They enable you to maximize your power to achieve whatever you set out to do. Importantly, using these essentials also help you work smarter, not harder. With them, you harness your mental energy to complete tasks quicker and in a more creative, positive manner.

Essential #1: You Can Only Have 1 Thought at a Time
This is the key to feeling optimistic, enjoying your life, and fulfilling your vision for a delightful life: You only can keep one thought in your head at a time. This is one of the most powerful yet under publicized insights in psychology.

Question: So, what should your one thought be? Answer: Dwell on what you want to accomplish. Do not dwell on what you do not want.

This is one of the easiest ways to keep negative thoughts out of your mind. You crowd them out. After all, if you keep thinking positive, optimistic and uplifting thoughts, you cannot simultaneously focus on negative, depressing or upsetting thoughts.

In fact, intriguing psychological research even shows that people who focus on positive experiences can put up with more discomfort than people who do not dwell on positive, pleasant thoughts. Eventually, by putting this essential into action, you weed out any sprouting negative thoughts.

To see how magnificently this essential works, do two experiments with yourself. First, the next time a negative thought crosses your path, immediately think of your goals or a delightful experience.

Second, do random checks on your thoughts. A few times during your next five days, occasionally pause. Check to see if you are thinking pessimistic or optimistic thoughts. If you are thinking negative thoughts, you now know what to do!

Essential #2: Expect the Best
What are you thinking about? Do you have a goal or an exciting vision for living you life? Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "A man is what he thinks about all day long." Generally as you begin your day or a project, your frame-of-mind proves extremely important.

It is this simple:If you start a day or task with a...

  • positive belief that you will succeed, you increase your chances that you will figure out ways to assure a successful outcome

  • negative belief that you may fail, your belief makes it much harder to build up your motivation to succeed

The moral that what you expect will materialize in reality.

Let us look at it a little differently: Everyone has noticed some pessimistic people seem like an accident waiting to happen. And, lo and behold, many pessimistic, complaining people ram into all sorts of potholes.

In contrast, you probably have observed some people for whom success seems to come somewhat easily. These people almost invariably tend to be optimistic people. They expect the best and keep their minds focused on what they want. Through some cosmic vibrations, they draw to themselves people and opportunities that prove helpful. It almost seems like they are magnets, attracting what they want into their lives. By constantly expecting the best, they get exactly what they expect. So, carefully choose what you expect, because you may get it.

Essential #3: Strong Ambition
Wishy-washy people do not go very far. They get swayed by whatever crosses their paths. In contrast, the people who move mountains, people who get things done, are people who feel a profound sense of mission. They dive into their projects with gusto. I believe that every highly successful person is a maniac on a mission.

The finest way to develop strong ambition is for you to think about your goals, ambitions and things you want many, many times each day. Again, think about what you want and specifically what you need to do to get it. This is like adding logs to a burning fire. Your intense dwelling on what you want builds incredibly strong ambition in you.

I know how powerful this method is from personal experience. As my husband and I built our businesses from scratch, we encountered many challenges and roadblocks that easily could have thrown cold water on our ambition. We still remember innumerable times when we kept our spirits up by smiling and saying aloud, "We're maniacs on a mission!"

Essential #4: Gumption to Change How You Think
The way you handle situations has served you to some degree. Now, you have a tremendous opportunity to feel more confident and optimistic than you ever may have dreamed possible. You can unleash your energy and hone your focus on what you most want.

The difficulty in doing this is the seemingly "natural" tendency to slip back into your old ways of doing things. Some people call this a rut or the "comfort zone." Whatever you call it, you probably continually have certain habits that you would do better without. Now, you can seize your opportunity to do things a bit differently. For example, starting now you can create a finer, more exciting future for yourself just by starting to

  • dwell on positive thoughts of what you want -- and avoid dwelling on negative thoughts of what you do not want

  • expect the best

  • act like a maniac on a mission

To do this, you need the gumption to change or improve some of your habitual ways of thinking.

When you hear new information on a subject, don't you sometimes change your opinion on the matter? This is similar. You can continue your habitual ways of using your brain. Or, you can reap all the benefits of more productive ways of thinking and feeling. Remember: "Happiness is a choice, not an automatic response."

Essential #5: Persistence
Persistence is a key to feeling happy. Fascinating research done at Stanford University proves that persistent people achieve more than their less persistent colleagues.

In a large study they found that children who had exhibited the ability to persist and delay gratification, stood out as much more competent human beings than the children who grabbed the marshmellows. The children with persistence were more

  • assertive
  • confident
  • likely to pursue challenges
  • able to handle frustrations
  • likely not to give up when encountering obstacles
  • willing to start and complete projects

This study shows that impulsive people are less likely to succeed in life than people who delay gratification. Or, to put it another way, people who persist achieve more than people who want their rewards before they finish a project.

You can use this information to help yourself. Successful people persist. They keep plugging away even though they may not see the immediate benefits or rewards of their hard-work. People with stick-to-itiveness are much more likely to get what they want -- eventually -- than people who want it now.

An interesting example of persistence in action occurs every year. About once a year, statistics are released about how many new businesses failed. In general, new businesses close down during their first two years of existence. Businesses that persist for two or more years in business are much less likely to fold.

Usually such figures are displayed to illustrate how many businesses fail. I found it more useful to put this in another light. Probably what is happening is that entrepreneurs who are impulsive and refuse to delay gratification cannot stand to keep plugging away for more than a year or two. At that point, since they have not made their fortune, they close shop.

In sharp contrast, entrepreneurs who delay gratification -- who acknowledge that business success may take many years -- persist. They keep focused on doing whatever they need to do to grow their businesses, although it may take them years to achieve key business goals.

When my husband and I started our consulting and training businesses, a very successful businessperson told us, "It takes about five years to become successful in your own business."

As we each tackled zillions of challenges and obstacles, we often comforted ourselves with our belief that this self-made millionaire knew what he was talking about. He was right. Actually, it took us a bit more than five years to achieve the level of success we envisioned. Importantly, what would we have achieved if we had thrown in the towel too early?

By disciplining yourself to keep working toward your goals until you reach them, you develop well-deserved self-esteem and confidence. These are hallmarks of every happy and optimistic person. Remember what Benjamin Franklin once said, "Diligence is the mother of good luck."

Maryann Troiani, Psy.D., is a speaker, media personality and consultant with The Mercer Group, Inc., in Barrington, Illinois. She delivers speeches & workshops at meetings and conferences. She co-authored the book, "SPONTANEOUS OPTIMISM: Proven Strategies for Health, Prosperity & Happiness". Dr. Troiani has coached many people across the country with her "optimism and change-your-life" techniques. You can email Dr. Mary or phone her at (847) 382-0690.

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