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July 1, 2016

Smile Your Way to Happiness

In his brilliant book Resilience, former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens delivers some amazing wisdom to a fellow SEAL struggling with the aftereffects of warfare. I just finished the book, and I can’t wait to share some of its lessons in future Daily Pauses. For now, take this piece of practical wisdom into your holiday weekend.

Greitens asks his buddy to write down the words FEELINGS, ACTIONS, and IDENTITY, in that order. This is the way the world now operates, Greitens argues. We ask each other how we’re feeling, and we constantly ask ourselves the same thing. Then we let those feelings determine our next actions, and eventually those actions determine our destiny.

Truly wise and successful people, however, reverse the order: IDENTITY determines their ACTIONS, which in turn shape our FEELINGS. That’s right, we can actually change the way we feel, rather than the other way around.

As an exercise, for instance, try this: Identify yourself as a happy person. Say it aloud: “I am a happy person.” Now, force yourself to smile for a full 15 seconds. Think about one person or circumstance you’re thankful for.

I know this sounds silly, but I dare you to just try it.

Now, how do you feel?

Peace begins with pause,

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  1. Pingback: Who’s Your Mentor | screamfree

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