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Chapter 10: How To Maintain a Positive and Happy Mindset
Everything we’ve looked at already should help you to find the things you want in life and to go after them. But what about being happier the way you are right now?
Because that’s the thing. A lot of us don’t realize that we could actually be very happy with what we already have. We see lions everywhere where there aren’t any and our society is designed only to encourage this further. Capitalism is all about convincing us that we need and want things that we
don’t really. In reality, you can live very cheaply and be incredibly happy. How about moving to a poorer area and seeing your money go much further? And instead of spending lots of money on games and films, how about going for walks, exercising or even visiting free museums? A book on Amazon costs $1!
One study demonstrated this incredibly well. The research essentially gave lots of people a test to measure their happiness. Among the participants, some people had terrible luck – losing partners, losing limbs, contracting terminal illnesses – and others had much better luck by winning the lottery or marrying super models. Right after these life events, their happiness was measured again and as you wold expect, lottery winners were happier than amputees!
But now fast forward 10 years and what they found was that the happiness evened out again. This is once again what’s known as the ‘hedonic treadmill’. It’s a consistent sense of mild dissatisfaction that keeps us motivated and that prevents us from appreciating what we have.
The problem here is focus. And this is the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to changing your mindset and being happier with yourself. If you choose to focus on the negative things in your life, then your life will always be negative. If you focus on stress you’ll always be stressed. But focus on the things you have and take the time to actually be mindful about your accomplishments, your good health and all the things you have to look forward to and suddenly you can be a lot happier.