Why Look for Your Happy

October 24, 2017

 

 

In Happy Hunting the first thing Liza does after waking up feeling blah and lamenting that she has LOST her happy feeling, is to follow her mom’s suggestion to go and LOOK for it. This blog explains the importance of this decision and why we chose it as a foundation of the story.

 

 

In almost every moment of every day we subconsciously focus our attention on certain things in our environment while leaving others behind to blend into the background or pass us by completely. In scientific terms this is called Selective Attention and our brains do this because they can’t process all the information our senses are feeding us.

 

 

Selective Attention allows us to focus on what really matters while simultaneously tuning out unimportant details. What is exciting about Selective Attention is that it extends beyond what we hear and see. It also includes which attitudes we focus our attention on. Will we focus on sadness or happiness, anger or peace? Because the world around us is infinitely complex, we will always find support for whichever attitudes we choose.

 

 

Selective Attention teaches us that our responses to life are often a decision we make more so than a reaction we have. If we wake up feeling blah and decide we have lost our happy, we will likely find reasons to support feeling sad and grey. If instead we wake up feeling blah and decide to LOOK for our happy, we will almost certainly find many reasons to support feeling less blah, more ta-da! This is the magic of Selective Attention.

 

 

The decision to find and to be happy doesn’t mean that whatever may not be going well in life disappears. It just means we have chosen to selectively pay attention to the things that support our decision and efforts to feel happy anyway.

 

 

Selective Attention applies to almost every possible response toward life:

 

 

If we look for reasons to feel mad,

we'll find them.

 

If we look for reasons to feel scared,

we'll find them.

 

If we look for reasons to feel sad,

we'll find them.

 

If we look for reasons to feel happy,

we'll find them.

 

 

 

Our attitude is not a reaction to our current circumstances. Our attitude is a decision that we make—every single day. This realization has the power to transform our lives and how we view them in any given moment.

 

 

Just as Liza discovers:

 

Happy's here and happy's there,

if you LOOK it's everywhere.

 

 

 

 

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