Resolve to Make Happiness a Ritual
By: Siimon Reynolds, author of Why People Fail: The 16 Obstacles to Success and How You Can Overcome Them (Jossey-Bass, 2011)
In the last fifteen years there has been a colossal amount of research conducted on what makes humans happy. Suffice to say that there are numerous things you can do to quickly improve your mood.
Let’s face it: nobody feels fantastic every day. We all have our dark periods. But by following this elementary yet exceedingly potent ritual, you can tangibly reduce your black moods and enjoy vastly greater periods of feeling happy.
The important point to remember about happiness is that it is not just dependent on events that occur in your life. It is your reaction to those events that dictates your mood.
If you choose to just shrug your shoulders and brush off adversity, then bad moments won’t hurt you much. If you become a drama queen and take bad stuff personally, regular stress and misery will be your companions.
Ultimately it really is up to you. The moment you take responsibility for your moods, you begin to see that you are in control of them. It’s a very important mental game you must learn to play.
Make this ritual of mood control part of your life and just watch how your moods improve.
- Visualize the day going well (5 minutes)
- List all the good things in your life
- Exercise (10 minutes plus)
- Review all the good moments of the day (1 minute)
- Think of all the things you’re grateful for (1 minute)
- Visualize your life going well (5 minutes)
Within a week of practicing this simple system, the results will be substantial. Your habits of thinking (your brain’s neural pathways) will begin to change for the better. You’ll get used to expecting and imagining a vibrant, positive future, with the key events in your life going well.
Sure enough, that positive expectation will improve your performance and presentation and your results will also improve. It becomes a virtuous circle: your thoughts create better results, and then your better results create better thoughts.
Now consider the alternative. If you don’t do this daily happiness ritual, your moods are far more likely to go up and down with your changing circumstances.
People who don’t have a system for regulating their moods experience more oscillations in their happiness. Without a controlling force, they are virtually certain to sail on rougher mental waters.
I can think of no more valuable technique to quickly improve the quality of your daily experience and uplift the level of your thinking.
After all, why is it that so many people want to be rich, successful, or famous? It’s because of the way they believe it will make them feel.
Well, rather than spend years trying to reach those goals, why not be more direct and simply address your moods themselves? Do the Happiness Ritual each day and you’ll feel great.
In fact, you’ll feel better than many people who are rich or famous actually feel day to day. To master your moods is truly to be king of the world.
Siimon Reynolds, author of Why People Fail: The 16 Obstacles to Success and How You Can Overcome Them (Jossey-Bass, 2011), is mentor to business leaders worldwide. Winner of numerous business awards, he co-founded the 15th largest marketing services company in the world, with operations in 14 countries. His books have been published in ten countries.