Tag Archive for 'Positive Perception'

Relatively Happy

Don’t want to read it? Click here to listen straight from Brad.

[audio http://bradbartonspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/vol-8-relatively-happy-1-09.mp3]

You may think your attentive spouse, your loving children and good friends are affecting your happiness.  But what if there is some deeper magic at work in your life?

According to a new study published last month in the British Medical Journal, the people they are connected with make you happy as well.  The study proposes that happiness is transmitted through social networks, almost like a germ is spread through personal contact.


James Fowler of the University of California-San Diego explored how social ties influence our moods and our sense of well-being.  The primary finding: People who are surrounded by happy people are more likely to be happy themselves.  In addition, the people surrounding the people we know make a difference too!


Imagine several pebbles thrown into a pond, sending ripples outward. Each pebble represents a happy person and the waves are the impact of that person’s mood on others. This affective impact extends through several degrees of separation, to the friends of a friend of a person’s friends.


The study found that happy people form clusters and the happiest people are those most centrally located in the clusters.


According to the new study, your probability of being happy rises over 15% if a friend or family member is happy, 9.8% if friends of your friend or family member are happy, and 5.6% if friends of the friends of your friend or family member are happy.


Of course, the researchers stress personal factors such as self-esteem, job satisfaction, rewarding hobbies, stress level and marital quality also affect happiness. 


Bottom line: Want to be happy?  Make others happy.  How to make others happy?  Be happy.


Notice: Reading is not the only option.  Click the link above and I’ll read this to you.  Great fun!

Joy – Right Now

Don’t want to read it? Click here to listen straight from Brad.

[audio http://bradbartonspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/vol-7-joy-right-now1.mp3]

What if, along with our next fast food order, we could super-size an extra helping of joy?

I hope that, during the holidays, you have experienced joy in greater measure; some special moments with your loved ones, a little time alone to reflect on a year well lived, the exhilaration of hope for an even better year ahead…

…but, now that we have left the bright, warm, red and green of the holidays and stepped into the bleak cold of January, has your sense of joy dropped? If so, why? Are post-Christmas blues based on reality or perception?

Sarah Breathnach suggests that “Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities… When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [joy]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.”

Illusion is a wasteland. It negates so much potential beauty and joy. Consider the admonition of the Roman philosopher, Horace, “Whatever hour God has blessed you with, take it with grateful hand, nor postpone your joys from year to year, so that in whatever place you have been, you may say that you have lived happily.”

Have a magical year!

Wag More

Don’t want to read it? Click here to listen straight from Brad. (The link works this week!)

[audio http://bradbartonspeaks.com/dev/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/vol-5-12-08-wag-more.mp3]

I was in Phoenix last week attending the National Speakers Association Fall Conference. My son Jacob was competing in the prestigious Nike Cross-Country Invitational just a few miles away from my hotel.

I ducked out of the conference for a few minutes so I could watch him run. (Oh, how I love watching that kid run!) On my way to his race, I stopped at a traffic light. I noticed a bumper sticker on a cream colored Cooper Convertible waiting ahead of me.

I looked – and looked again; then I got it. Maybe that’s the answer. Maybe it is that simple.

It read:

Wag More – Bark Less

Daily Dose

Don’t want to read it? Click here to listen straight from Brad.

[audio http://bradbartonspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/daily-dose-vol-4-11-08.mp3]

Right out of nowhere, my 8-year-old son Garrett asked me,

“Dad, why are there more bad things happening in the world than good things?”

“Why do you think that?”

“Well, every time I hear you watching the news it sounds like just all bad things are happening.”

I sat for a moment in silence. I thought about the negatively-slanted-media-bombarded world we live in. We all are getting our dim, dismal, daily dose of disaster, aren’t we?

What to do? Stop reading the paper? Stop watching the news, looking at the evening stock reports? Perhaps, but is there an alternative to living uniformed and ignorant? I believe there is. If our daily dose is our problem, could it also be our solution?

What if we developed a habit of injecting a little mental magic, some positive perception, some spiritual oomph into each day? We wouldn’t let a day pass without feeding our bellies, shouldn’t we also endeavor to daily feed our personal development, program our minds with possibilities, buoy up our hearts with optimism?

Grab a book, listen to a positive pod cast, watch a hilarious YouTube bit, phone an optimistic friend, subscribe to an uplifting blog. Develop a habit of getting your daily dose of power and possibility, brightness, hope and anticipation. Give yourself the gift that inoculates you from the setbacks and worries of our daily disasters. With that positive daily dose of energy and optimism, life will just get better and better and better.

“Hey, good job, Dad! Now can we go watch that cool Nova science program?”