Link: “My Focus? The Overlap Between Things I Can Control and Things That Matter.”

http://www.happiness-project.com/happiness_project/2012/01/happiness-interview-carl-richards-gretchen-whats-a-simple-activity-that-consistently-makes-you-happier-carl-ge.html
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Carlrichards

Is there anything you find yourself doing repeatedly that gets in the way of your happiness?
Because I spend a huge amount of my time thinking about it (it’s my job!), I often find myself feeling regret for past mistakes or worrying about the future. Neither of those two activities makes me happy. It’s pretty clear why. Worrying about the future or feeling regret about the past takes me out of the present and then I miss the joy that comes from living now.

Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you’ve found very helpful?(e.g., I remind myself to “There is only love.”)

Two things come to mind:

[1] I breathe! It’s amazing to me how much peace you can find in focusing on your breath. I guess there is a reason so many of the ancient spiritual traditions focus on it. When I find myself getting anxious or upset, I just take a minute and breathe. If my mind wanders back to the problem, I gently pull it back to my breath.

[2] I work through a little Q&A with myself:
Is this an issue or “problem” I’m having with something that really matters?
Is it something I can control?

I have found it helps (particularly with financial decisions) to focus on those things that matter and that you have at least some control over.

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