Habit #6 – The Power of Smile

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy. —Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s important to understand that a real smile fuels your well-being & happiness.

When you smile:
People are more willing to help you.
You are more willing to help others.
You create a positive change in your body and mind. And you create positive change in the world.
– from the book: “Don’t die with your song unsung”

I’ve shared it before… and I’m more than happy to share this wonderful ted talk again: Ron Gutman: The hidden power of smiling

… and it’s not hard to smile.. is it?

Share a smile with a stranger today.

Habit #4 – Learn to say: “Zorro Circle” or “One thing at a time”

This is a very powerful way of reminding us to stay cool and effective when your brain starts to feel overwhelmed.

Zorro Circle

From Shawn Achor’s wonderful book: “The Happiness Advantage:  The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work”

‘When challenges loom and we get overwhelmed, our rational brains get hijacked by emotions.  This principle teaches us how to regain control by focusing first on small, manageable goals, and then gradually expanding our circle to achieve bigger and bigger ones’

Shawn’s principle number 5 is “The Zorro Circle”. It refers to how the legendary Zorro was able to transform from a depressed, inept man into a skilled, powerful swordsman and hero. His secret came when his teacher/master drew a circle in the dirt and told him that he would first learn to fight only from the circle and not until he had mastered the circle could he expand out.

In order to remember this quickly before a really bad emotional hijack occurs, you need a quick response… I’ve learned to say:  “Zorro Circle” to myself.

You could say whatever suits you… the point is to remind yourself to calm down and handle one small thing first..

For all you Johnny Cash fan’s out there.. why not learn to say: “One piece at a time“:

Habit #2 – Choose experiences over material goods

I know that for some people this might not be the right way towards more happiness, but for most of us…. it is.

Here is a quote from a great book (see books section):

Want to buy happiness? Then spend you hard-earned cash on experiences. Go out for a meal. Go to a concert, movie, or the theater. Go on vacation. Go and learn how to pole dance. Go play paintball. Go bungee jumping. In fact, get involved in anything that provides an opportunity to do things with others, and tell even more people about it afterward. When it comes to happiness, remember, it is experiences that represent really good value for the money.
Richard Wiseman – 59 Seconds Think a Little, Change a Lot

Richard Wiseman base all his advice on (usually numerous) studies..

My favorite experiences are travel, concerts & visiting great museums/buildings (all easily combined).

This Habit has many spin-off habits involving: Journaling, systematic reflection & review time, Simple living, and more…. I will come back to all of them on later posts.

Let’s enjoy one of George Carlin’s best…. STUFF: