I am a student of happiness. It’s the one human emotion that fascinates me the most and I devour all material I can find on the subject.
Recently I read an excerpt from the book Curious? written by Todd Kashdan, Ph.D, that offers several suggestions on how to increase your happiness. This excerpt taught a concept I thought to be particularly pertinent for writers.
Very often we make wildly general statements about our abilities, or chance for success. We say things like “I’ll never make it as a writer until I can quit my job/my kids are grown/my spouse supports my dreams.” Our lists of excuses, or “never” statements, are as diverse as we are, and those lists can go on and on.
However, Dr. Kashdan suggests we can begin to make a change in such negative thinking by occasionally sprinkling in less immovable words, like “sometimes” or “maybe.” So we should say, “Maybe I can make it as a writer even while I’m working full time.”
The key here is believing. Happiness and believing in oneself are synonymous. We are not happy when we think our dreams are unachievable. However, if we can begin to sprinkle in these tiny suggestions of possibility—that perhaps we can be successful even in less-than-ideal circumstances—we will welcome more happiness into our lives.