left Xtraordinary Living At Its Best: Happiness is a choice.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

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Happiness is a choice.

I'm working on a new project that will allow us to offer a daily structure for increased awareness. This project involves finding various interesting quotes. One that caught my attention is the following:

"Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations." I love this quote by Edward de Bono because it captures the essence of "taking responsibility" for our happiness. It really gives us two powerful options:

1- Increase our talents to match our expectations
2- Lower our expectations to match our talents

If you read my earlier post on what constitutes an Xtraordinary Living? you'll see that option #1 above is the one that is most in alignment with living an Xtraordinary Life. However, option #2 has it's uses.

For example, about a year ago my wife suggested I take Yoga classes after I mentioned to her that I really needed to do something to increase my flexibility. I had taken Yoga in the past and didn't enjoy it. However I was willing to give it another try. After going to an introductory class, I realized that while I still didn't particularly like doing Yoga, I did like how I felt afterwards. So I bought a package of 10 classes and committed to attending once per week. I am now on my sixth package.

I'm clear that doing Yoga classes 1x/week will not increase my flexibility. However it will at least slow down the loss of additional flexibility. I have matched my talents with my expectations. And for now, that is good enough for me. If on the other hand I would expect to gain flexibility by keeping to the same regimen, I would undoubtedly end up disappointed and would quit Yoga altogether.

Remember that the quality of our life is directly related to the quality of our choices. So while not every choice we make will be Xtraordinary, the sum total of all the choices we make will determine how Xtraordinary our life will be.

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Andy said...

Unhappiness is best defined as... when my phone rang this morning I was in my office, realized it was the "quote" and answered. I laughed out loud because aligning expectations with effort is a big growth area for me this last year. I was kind of kicking myself for working while most everyone else had taken the day off. From that point on I was cheerful and knocked off a number of things that would have nagged at me during the upcoming Peru trip. Thanks.