I was just listening to a guest lecture by Barbara Fredrickson, Professor at UNC Chapel Hill, author of Positivity, and she introduces some fascinating studies on positive psychology and just why we all need to be shifting our focus toward the good.
She’s not the first person I’ve heard this from, but she backs it with solid data: positive emotions expand our awareness. On the contrary, negative emotions promote tunnel vision.
Biologically, it makes sense. If we are under stress, we need to focus. We can’t be stopping to smell the lilies when we’re being chased by a lion.
Yet, our pre-historic ancestors, like most species, let go of that stress in the absence of threat.
We have to play the whole damn thing over in our mind 1,017 times just to make sure; all the while walking around with giant horse blinders on–missing opportunities, not seeing potential, forgetting what you’re grateful for, just blowing around in the breeze of melancholy–“living the dream!”
There is not enough sarcasm and booze to make that seem like fun to me anymore.
There was a time when I was too cool for stuff like gratitude and positive woowoo mushy gushy.
But beggin on my knees (basically) for some flicker of inspiration wasn’t my coolest moment either.
Gratitude saved my life. It changed my perspective, broadened my awareness, and opened the door to boundless potential that I’ve only just begun to tap.
I’m not saying that everything is all peaches and roses day in and day out, but I’d say it’s pretty dandy.
“One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, “My son, the battle was between 2 “wolves” inside us all. One was Evil. It was anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other was Good. It was joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.
“The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?
“The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I leave you with this: Careful where you put those treats.
Kat Hurley is a transformational author, speaker and personal development coach, making over motivation @The Year of Magical Dreaming. For the full 411, visit kathurley.com, yo.