WHETHER YOU THINK YOU CAN OR YOU CAN’T, YOU’RE RIGHT!
Thank you Henry Ford for this all too correct summary of how influential our thinking and imagining is to our well-being. Henry, using intuition, observed what Sonja Lyubomirsky empirically uncovered from reviewing the literature on well-being (1). Both noted that our intentions have enormous effect on our state of flourishing.
Sonja summarized her findings by concluding that around 40% of what determines our well-being is up to our intentional thoughts and activities. What about the rest? 50% is largely set by our genetically determined set points (our genes, which cannot be changed). The last 10% is our unique life circumstances (rich or poor, beautiful or plain, etc.).
If we decide, often by default, that we are having a bad day, it is almost certainly going to turn out that way. Inversely, if with determined intentions we decide our day or experience is going to go well, that day or event will have a high probability of being satisfying. Try it: frame some upcoming occasion with optimistic potential. Chances are it will go joyfully, or at least better than if one had no joyful expectations.
Having watched (and graded) thousands of learners sitting examinations, the correlation between the candidate’s intentional preparation and attitude and their subsequent performance seems strong. The writer with a confident air generally walks out of the venue with a positive expectation and later a rewarding result. And those that enter and exit the exam hall with low expectations seem too often get their expectations confirmed.
Whether one can or can’t is a less random outcome than we imagine. Realistic intentions, coupled with proper preparation, have a significantly higher success rate than imagining we are the victim of circumstance.
Make our self-fulfilling prophesies bountiful and beautiful. Chances are we will get what we asked for.
Reflection Source: www.Smallercup.org
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(1): Pursuing Happiness: The Architecture of Sustainable Change, Sonja Lyubomirsky, Kennon M. Sheldon, David Schkade, Review of General Psychology 9(2):111–131 · June 2005