Friday, February 8th, Day 157, Happiness
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
This morning I am trying an experiment: hash-brown red potatoes mixed with ground chicken and beaten egg with oregano, basil, sea salt, and black pepper cooked with butter.
I have never made this before, but I am taking Maxwell Maltz’ advice. I do not have to know how. I can learn with the Success Mechanism. For dishes like this, I can put them together, using my past trial and error experiences.
It turned out okay. I added a bit too much sea salt.
I visited with one of my neighbors in the hall about the rec center. She said she used to go to one of the other rec centers in this community. She showed me her membership card.
As I walked through the hallway, I spent some time memorizing the 12 activities that increase happiness as researched by Sonja Lyubomirsky. They are:
- Expressing Gratitude
- Cultivating Optimism
- Avoiding Over-thinking and Social Comparison
- Practicing Acts of Kindness
- Nurturing Social Relationships
- Developing Strategies for Coping
- Learning to Forgive
- Increasing Flow Experiences
- Savoring Life’s Joys
- Committing to Your Goals
- Practicing Religion and Spirituality
- Taking Care of Your Body
I used Kevin Horsley’s location system to re-memorize these. For the first eight, I associated the activity with an experience I have had with the person or people living in each condo unit. Then I remembered the number of their condo unit, which corresponded to the number of the activity. There were no condo units for 9-12. However, I think I have 9-12 memorized now. As I walked past the condo units, counter-clockwise, I recalled the activity associated with each.
When memorizing a list of items, it helps to memorize the list in numerical order. Then when recalling it, it is easier to know whether you have the complete list. The order of this list is the same Sonja Lyubomirsky used in her book The How of Happiness.
The definition of happiness varies with whom you ask about it. Kevin Horsley wrote a book about happiness called, The Happy Mind. I have not read it yet. I wonder if he combines his memory systems with becoming happy. I read his introduction where he states that some people think happiness is something that comes from outside of themselves. Some people believe its money, a place to live, having a certain appearance, or being in another time.
I enjoyed Maxwell Maltz’ definition: “thinking pleasant thoughts most of the time”. Since I have often experienced the paralysis of depression, I think of happiness as being free to act, free to reach for goals. If I actually obtain goals, that can produce happiness too, but that happiness is short-lived. I feel happy while pursuing a goal. I always need to be pursuing the next goal. However, committing to your goals is just one of the twelve areas of activity Sonja Lyubomirsky found to increase happiness. Notice that she did not say, “achieving goals”.
What is your definition of happiness? Are you happy now, or do you think its: if this happens, then I will be happy?
I recorded my weight this morning. It is 56.55 kg. It still has not gone down. I ate way over my budget Wednesday, which set me back. I had two dishes of ice cream. Much as I like ice cream, I need to give it up. I do not need to do that just to lose weight. I need to do that just to maintain my weight.