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Newsletter #39

Newsletter Cartoon

When Things Are Beyond Your Control

Here's a recipe for permanent misery ...

a) Decide how you think the world SHOULD be.
b) Make rules for how everyone SHOULD behave.

Then, when the world doesn't obey your rules, get angry! That's what miserable people do!

Let's say you expect that:
Friends SHOULD return favours.
People SHOULD appreciate you.
Planes SHOULD arrive on time.
Everyone SHOULD be honest.

Your husband SHOULD remember your birthday.

These expectations may sound reasonable. But often, these things won't happen!
So you end up frustrated and disappointed.

There's a better strategy.
Have less demands.
Instead, have preferences!

For things that are beyond your control, tell yourself:
"I WOULD PREFER "A", BUT IF "B" HAPPENS, IT'S OK TOO!"

This is really a game that you play in your head. It is a shift in attitude, and it gives you more peace of mind ...

You prefer that people are polite ... but when they are rude, it doesn't ruin your day.
You prefer sunshine ... but rain is ok!

To become happier, we either need to a) change the world, or b) change our thinking. It is easier to change our thinking!

IN A NUTSHELL

It's not what happens to you that determines your happiness.
It's how you think about what happens to you.

Andrew Matthews' international bestsellers "Being Happy!", "Making Friends" and "Follow Your Heart" are available from amazon.com and bookstores in 50 countries.