W.G. DeFoore, Ph.D. October 2013 Vol 7 No. 10  

Assume The Best In All Things

It's in our human nature to "fill in the blank" when we are facing some type of unknown future or unanswered question. And there are many of those unanswered questions, ranging from, "Why didn't he respond to my email?" to "What does my financial future look like?" to "Can I maintain my health?" The default survival-based reflex is to fill in the blank with some version of the "worst case scenario," which makes us anxious (and usually doesn't come true). What if you decided to assume the best possible answers for those unanswered questions, as an experiment, for a period of two weeks? Any time you think of anyone you know, hold them in the highest possible regard, and assume that they are doing their best to find their way to a noble outcome. When you don't know what's going to happen in a situation, imagine the best of all possible outcomes, or at least a few good ones. Of course, there's no way of  knowing whether you're right, but that's also true if you assume the worst...and assuming the best will make you healthier and happier. And as if that was not enough reason to project positive possibilities onto unanswered questions, you will find that when you do this, you will actually begin to experience more positive outcomes. You may recall from a previous issue that you create your own reality by 1) having a theory (your positive possibility) 2) wanting to be right (because we all do...) and 3) looking for evidence that supports your theory. So, assume the best, expect the best, and be a Goodfinder so that you can be right about how good things are!

Grow The Good In Your Brain

Neuropsychologist Rick Hanson recently authored a fantastic article published in Greater Good online magazine entitled, "How To Grow The Good In Your Brain." His research has revealed some wonderful insight into how you can literally change the wiring of your brain to create more happiness and well being in your life. Dr. Hanson quotes a traditional saying in his article that says so much: "The mind takes its shape from what it rests upon." His findings in studying happiness and the brain support this belief, as he points out how the brain learns and actually changes its "shape" or neural patterns, based on the types of experiences we have. Rick Hanson has devoted his efforts to providing tools that will help you create more lasting benefit from your happy experiences. In this article, for example, he recommends a three step process for increasing your positive experiences (to grow the good in your brain). First, you focus on any positive or pleasant awareness or sensation you may be having. Next, in what he calls "enriching," he suggests that you spend 10-20 seconds pondering, savoring and exploring that positive feeling and awareness. Finally, he suggests that as you ponder and savor this experience, you imagine yourself literally absorbing it into your mind and body, like "water soaking into a sponge." I strongly encourage you to read his article (linked above) and check out his new book, "Hardwiring Happiness." Rest your mind on joy, and see what shapes up for you.

Music, Fitting In & Feeling Good

Want to keep your heart healthy? New research has shown that listening to your favorite music will actually improve your heart health and function. The study also makes it very clear that exercise and music combined are the best medicine for that all-important organ. This next video, the Irish version of the "Cups" song, will most certainly bring a big smile to your heart. And to keep that smile going, enjoy this delightful father-daughter duet, that is "better than fireworks." Now watch 10 year old Anna Christine on America's Got Talent...guaranteed to give you chills! This young man does a phenomenal version of "Wayfarin' Stranger" in his friend's garage, using the VoiceJam app on his iPhone. Let's wrap up our musical segment with a human piano that will entertain you in grand fashion.

Moving on, I think you'll agree that most of us have had problems "fitting in" at different points in our lives. This creative video offers a gentle and encouraging message, emphasizing that being yourself is a whole lot easier and better. Now let's launch into feeling good with The State Pack Men, who bring messages of courage and leadership to under-served youth. Does success lead to happiness, or is it the other way around? This light-hearted Soul Pancake video asks and answers that for you. We'll conclude this issue with a string of great articles, called, 7 Secrets of Highly Happy People, 8 Good Morning Questions That Create Happiness, 10 Tips To Live in the Present, and 10 Things Happy Couples Do Differently. Remember, you are brilliant, you're in charge, and your true nature is joy.

 Quotes from Great Goodfinders

"Creativity is intelligence having fun."
--Albert Einstein

"Your attention is like a combination spotlight and vacuum cleaner: It highlights what it lands on and then sucks it into your brain--for better or worse."
--Rick Hanson

"Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it."

--Søren Kierkegaard

"We have all a better guide in ourselves, if we would attend to it, than any other person can be."

Jane Austen

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"

-Jean-Jacques Rousseau


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