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Small things make big differences

September 13, 2011

A Great Idea …

“Good things and high accomplishments, studies have shown, have astonishingly little power to raise happiness more than transiently: In less than three months, major events…lose their impact on happiness levels.” (Psychologist Martin E. P. Seligman in his book, Authentic Happiness, p. 49)

In Other Words …

We think the big things will make us happy. We’re mistaken. Even lottery winners, after a few months, quickly return to their pre-winning happiness levels. Solid, sustaining happiness comes from appreciating the small good things in our lives.

How This Applies to You …

Look around you. What are some good things that have happened in your life today? Name as many as you can. Relish them. Write them down. As you appreciate the good in your life, you will find greater happiness and satisfaction.

To Find Out More …

For more great ideas (or to share your own ideas), check out the Navigating Life’s Journey blog

For excellent (and free!) programs on improving your personal well being, check out The Personal Journey and Managing Stress at www.arfamilies.org.

For more information, we recommend Authentic Happiness or Learned Optimism, both by Martin E. P. Seligman.

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