In today’s post we’re gonna talk about all the ways in which you make your life miserable by paying attention to all the crappy things that are going on in your life. Like, holy crap! Why am I thinking these things, all the time! We’re gonna solve that problem today, explain why it occurs and how you get around it. So what we know is that we have something called a negativity bias. All of us have it. It’s the way we’ve been hardwired through nature to be basically looking through our environment all the time. Like a radar detecting. Looking, looking, looking and oh! There’s something bad! We scan and we land! We land on the bad thing. We’re scanning the universe, the environment, and we look at the thing that’s negative, that’s bad. That’s our habit and you can guess why. It makes sense.
There’s a good teacher, a guy named Joe Dispenza. He tells the story a good story about this. He says: Imagine if the opposite were true. Imagine if you had the most optimistic, happiest, cave guy in the whole world. One of our ancestors from a hundred thousand years ago. This guy woke up and he’s just excited by life. He walks out of his cave and he says “Oh wow! Look across the valley there there’s this beautiful golden cat it’s fuzzy and furry and it’s got these big fangs. I’m gonna go over there and see how that cats doing.” Uh-uh. Yeah. Maybe that wouldn’t work out so well. He wakes up and he says “Oh look over there it’s the neighboring tribe. They’re coming with haste, they’ve got spears and rocks. I’m gonna walk over there and say hi.” How does it work out for this ancient ancestor of ours? He freakin’ dies. That’s what happens. He’s a loser. He’s not part of the gene pool anymore and we did not get that guy’s genes. However, we got the genes of everybody who was highly cautious. “Oh look strange animal. I better be wary. Oh look the neighboring tribe, we better get our rocks or run away.” ….or something, right? That’s the way we’ve been programmed for survival, is to have this negativity bias looking all the time for the crappy stuff in our lives. The stuff that hurts.
When we see the stuff that hurts and we experience it, we learn hard and fast from it. It makes a big impact on our lives, so that negativity has a much outsized effect on our lives relative to positive things. Now positive things are all very nice and good and if you get enough of them they can start to overcome this negativity bias. But, any one positive thing generally speaking (maybe some exceptions— your wedding day or something like that) might be a really positive thing. But most of the time we do not get huge, immediate, permanent, big learning from positive stuff. That’s just the way we’re wired.
I’m sorry it sucks, it’s reality. Get over it! And there’s a way to get over it. We have to get a ratio of more positive stuff in our life than negative stuff. An upcoming post will explain how that ratio was derived, but we basically know we need at least a three to one ratio. Three positive things in our lives for every one negative thing. There’s a way to do that, it’s really simple. Even kind of boring! It makes me feel like I’m back in Sunday school when I was like 5 years old, and someone said “What are you grateful for?” “I don’t know.” But we were being taught at a very young age to be grateful for stuff and there’s a good reason. It increases our likability, we have better relationships, we sleep better, we have improved health and here’s the real kicker that’s proven scientifically. When we introduce people to gratitude practices, people get more of what they want in their life. They’re not only happier and having better relationships, all of which is really really good but they’re reaching more goals.
As you know from previous videos and posts (maybe I’ll put a link to one below about a video but why happiness leads to more success in life?) When we are happier we get more of this crap that we want. So that’s my encouragement to you, learn a gratitude practice. I’m gonna teach you right now. The very best one, super simple, scientifically proven to not only increase happiness a little bit. To have sustained, improved happiness in your life. Are you ready to learn it? Good. Here it is. Every single day write down three things that went well. That’s it. Every single day, look to your past 24 hours and write down three things that went well. Yeah that’s really it. That’s the whole thing. The only other thing I’d say to you, is do it at the same time every day so you get a habit of it. Every single day at the same time look to your past 24 hours and write down three things that went well. I know I say it with kind of angry tone in my voice but it’s because I really want you to do it, ‘cuz it’ll make your life better! Got it! Every day look into your past 24 hours, write down three things that went well.
Thanks so much for reading and checking in.
I’m Paul Krismer your happiness expert and we’ll see you next time!