“There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.” ~Buddhist Proverb
While happiness, as the Buddhist proverb goes, can and should be a choice (most often) there is no doubt our present circumstances and events have great influence upon our current level of happiness.
In fact, what happens more often than not is that we will assign and craft stories about events (in the present) and then layer on our own subjective and speculative implications (stories) about how that event will influence our future.
Interestingly, these future stories (that WE are always, habitually creating at will) in turn than influence our present level of happiness.
The question becomes, do we have the power to change the story, our attention and focus?
Martin touches on the R.A.S.; the Reticular Activation System, a part of the brain helps selectively guide our focus, to see and find those things that we are seeking OR patterns we’ve seen in the past.
“We tend to see what we put our focus upon… If that future story or image projection is not what we would like to see we actually get to change it.”
In fact, you might argue that becomes a core responsibility in our life.
Martin recounts Jobs’ biography by Walter Isaacson, simply titled, Steve Jobs. In the book, Jobs is famous for something Isaacson coined as his “reality distortion field”. This reflected Jobs unrelenting ambition to distort “reality” and current information and events into something that would ultimately serve his imagination and his goals.
Can we not do this?
Martin challenges the listener to try to alter their focus and to craft a story about a positive, hopeful and optimistic future despite any negative current events or circumstances. And, to notice how that impacts your present level of happiness!
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“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” ~Albert Einstein
Your R.A.S. in action — See this video!
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson