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Choose Contentment

I’m still working on the big changes I mentioned in my last post. Launching the new website and blog like I imagine will probably take a month or so (due to only having sporadic chunks of time these days), but wanted to give you a glimpse into what the changes are all about. Part of what I’m learning right now is that no matter what circumstance you find yourself in, you have a choice to be miserable or to feel content/happy/satisfied/successful, and why choose the former? My mama always told me happiness is a choice, and said if I wasn’t feeling great, I could act as if I was and it would be so. Here are some fascinating TED talks about choice and happiness that actually back that up with some interesting science:

Dan Gilbert, “Why Are We Happy?”

Barry Schwartz, “The Paradox of Choice”

To sum them up, Dan Gilbert says that both our longings and our worries are overblown. We put too much stock in thinking we might be better or worse off if something wonderful or something terrible happens. It turns out we already have within us the capacity to manufacture the happiness we are constantly chasing or fear losing, and it doesn’t make much of a difference when those other things happen because we still are who we are.

Barry Schwartz says when we have too many choices, it actually makes us less happy. In this modern world, when we have choices galore, from potential partners to careers to salad dressings, we easily become paralyzed or regret decisions we’ve made. My goal for myself these days is still to pursue my creative ambitions, but to know that achieving them will not make or break my personal satisfaction. My happiness lies in choosing to see and appreciate what I already have and what is all around me wherever I may be. Check back in for the new blog and web content that will help you to choose contentment, too.

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