This is the fifth week of responding to some questions I have been given about my book, “Living More Than OK”. The final question is very good, in that it looks at the hindrances people have to positive change. With a new year here, this is important to think about! In the first blog post of this year I mentioned a study where only 8 percent of people actually keep their new year’s resolutions. The question posed to me is: what pitfalls do readers have to overcome to maintain a happy life? This causes me to think back to a couple of weeks ago when I spoke about choices.
The Dangers of Passivity
One major pitfall is the passivity of choosing not to choose. Going back to the thoughts of Dr. Shad Helmstetter here is one of the quotes I mentioned from him, “Those who choose to succeed always do better than those who never choose at all.” The successful and the happy make wise choices to move in that direction. The phrase, “those who never choose at all,” is a little misleading to me, as I believe not making an active choice to spiral up to abundant living is still a choice. It is a choice for the negative boring status quo that so many complain about, but never take action to do anything about. This pitfall is easy to get out of by simply taking time to put on your critical thinking and creative thinking hat on, and brainstorm new active choices to improve your life.
Photo credit: Marty.FM / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
There Is No Such Thing As a Happy Pill
Another example of a pitfall is all the excited talk about legalizing marijuana. Those wanting marijuana legalized act like that is the solution for instant happiness and enjoyment. To me, that is a pitfall that people want some easy way to happiness. “Just give me a drug to make me happy.” I never used alcohol or drugs, as I saw the negative fallout in people’s lives and thought: “Why would I want to do that to myself?” I read how Joe Scarborough of MSNBC came out recently, saying how he never tried marijuana because he thought those using the drug looked so dumb. I bring that same thought out in my book. I have seen a group high on marijuana before and they simply looked and sounded stupid. So my rationale was always why do I want to look stupid?
My essay chapter in “Living More Than OK” about Natural Highs clearly shows that there are so many ways to enjoy life to the full without smoking or snorting drugs. Again on the marijuana front, it is amazing how society has discouraged cigarette smoking as dangerous when it used to be considered cool years ago. Now the same people are exalting marijuana use even though it has more chemicals than cigarettes, is held more intensely in the lungs when they inhale it and some of the chemicals stay long term in the fatty tissue of the brain. Tell me where the critical thinking is on that issue?
What I am trying to get at is the easy way of hoping for a happiness drug is not the best way to “Live More Than OK”. There are so many more healthy and positive ways to have a more flourishing life.
Photo credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Foter / CC BY-ND
Open Up To Risks
The final chapter in the book relates to another important pitfall that stops people from growing in happiness. That is not being open to take risks. The openness to try something new. Many freeze up with fear in trying something new. I do honestly admit in my book that I am a low risk-taker. My natural highs are reading, music, travelling, enjoying time with family and friends. You notice I do not mention scuba diving or parachute jumping. That is just me. If you enjoy those activities go for it. Go for sports, art, dancing, photography…..the positive options are endless. I give ideas and resources in my book in relation to new natural high ideas. Take the risk to try something new this year.
Photo credit: o0bsessed / Foter.com / CC BY
I have enjoyed answering these few questions about my book, “Living More Than OK” at the start of this year. Next week I will move into more topics. But if you have a question you would like me to speak to please send me a comment about it and I can address your question in a future week!
Reflection: What personal pitfalls hinder you from moving towards Living More Than OK in your life? What new activities would you like to do in the coming year?