A Seaman's Quest

One man's search for truth

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Principles of Happiness

by Mark Seaman


I have violated these most of my life because I did not believe they were real.

Control

I control myself, but cannot control others.

Key Question:  What do I control?

Answer:   
    I control what I do, say, think, or feel.
    I do not control what others do, say, think, or feel.

Implications:
    I am fully responsible for myself.
    I must accept the reality that others define for me.

Personal Resolve:
    I will focus on what I control.
    I will not focus on what I don't control.

Positivity

Managing emotions is essential to happiness.

Key Question:  What is positive in the situation?

Answer:   
    Our brains are far more sensitive to the pain than pleasure (by 4x)
    so focusing on the negative feeling produces deadly results.

Implications:
    What I choose to focus on can have a profound impact on how I experience life.
    Every situation has a mix of positive and negative aspects.
    Emotions can and must be managed.

Personal Resolve:
    I focus on the positive.
    I will avoid focus on the negative.

Resources

An attitude of gratitude is the key to contentment.

Key Question:  What do I have?

Answer:   
    What I do is limited by the resources that I have.

Implications:
    Resources can and must be managed.
    I can take inventory of assets I have: 
        Wealth, Status, Education, Skills, Influence, Relationships

Personal Resolve:
    I focus on the positive.
    I will avoid focus on the negative.

Goals

Simplify the goals to focus on the important things.

Key Question:  What will I do?

Answer:   
    No one can do everything; everyone can do something.

Implications:
    I must operate consistent with my capabilities and life purpose.
    Focus on a few important goals.
    Prioritize my time.

Personal Resolve:
    I focus on the goals that are just right for me.
    I will avoid all goals that are not quite right for me.

Engagement/Mindfulness

Live in the moment, tomorrow is gone, the future is not yet.

Key Question:  Am I fully present now or living in the past or future?

Answer:   
    Now is the only time I have to make choices.
    Thoughts of "What if" and "If only" (future/past) pull me from the 
    present reality.

Implications:
    The past can be a place of regrets or glory days fantasies.
    The future can hold infinite bad possibilities.
    Obsession with the future can limit taking action right now.

Personal Resolve:
    I be totally engage with life right now.
    I will obsessing about the past or future.

Needs

Distinguish between needs and wants.

Key Question:  What do I truly need?

Answer:  
    My needs have levels: Health, Safety, Relationships, Identity, Purpose

Implications:
    I have many more wants than needs.
    I need to do an inventory of detailed needs.
    I will work toward unmet needs starting at the lowest level

Personal Resolve:

    I will focus on what I truly need.
    I will limit the focus on what I want.

Purpose

Generosity produces trust.

Key Question:  What will I give?

Answer: I must think more about what I give than what I take.

Implications:
    It is human nature to think about what I get from others.
    I must think more about what I contribute.
    I need to use opportunities to produce value for others.
    I must live out my unique life purpose.

Personal Resolve:
    I will focus on what I will give.
    I will limit the focus on what I take.

Excerpt from Cheatsheet of Happiness"