Happiness Principles To Live By – 4 of 7

I find this principle, the fourth out of the seven, a very strong one.

Strong because when we find ways to apply this, it can truly bring a lot of additional positivity to our lives. Strong as well because it really touches deep on (human) emotions and our ways of looking at the world. Accepting events as events, as “it is what it is” – an event and nothing more than an event -, that alone is a personal change. I know it was for me. Telling it to yourself over-and-over again until it sticks in the brain has helped me as well to use positive events (which you can’t change either) as stimulation to deal with those events that seem to crush on me -always at times where it seems to impact your whole life…

PRINCIPLE #4: FALLING UP

Capitalizing on the Downs to Build Upward Momentum

While many of us, thankfully, live lives free of serious trauma, we all experience adversity of one kind or another at some point in our lives. Mistakes. Obstacles. Failure. Disappointment. Suffering. We’ve all heard the usual examples: Michael Jordan cut from his high school basketball team, Walt Disney fired by a newspaper editor for not being creative enough, the Beatles turned away by a record executive who told them that “guitar groups are on their way out.”

Of course, turning adversity into opportunity is a skill that comes more naturally to some people than others. Luckily, these techniques can be learned. One way to help ourselves see the path from adversity to opportunity is to practice the ABCD model of interpretation: Adversity, Belief, Consequence, and Disputation. Adversity is the event we can’t change; it is what it is. Belief is our reaction to the event; why we thought it happened and what we think it means for the future. Is it a problem that is only temporary and local in nature or do we think it is permanent and pervasive? Are there ready solutions, or do we think it is unsolvable? If we believe the former— that is, if we see the adversity as short-term or as an opportunity for growth or appropriately confined to only part of our life— then we maximize the chance of a positive Consequence. But if the Belief has led us down a more pessimistic path, helplessness and inaction can bring negative Consequences. That’s when it’s time to put the D to work. Disputation involves first telling ourselves that our belief is just that— a belief, not fact— and then challenging (or disputing) it.

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