60 Seconds to a Happier Wavelength. Guaranteed.

Think You Can’t Control Your Mood? See if this Resonates…


I think about happiness as a radio frequency that you can tune yourself to follow, just like a radio station. When you don’t like the sounds you hear, you can change the dial until you find something that resonates. Resonates.

When unappealing tones emanate from external sources, like other people or your surrounding environment, or when those unpleasant sounds emerge from internal sources, such as negative self-talk, you can change that tune.  Change. Your tune.

“But what if I can’t change my circumstances,” you ask?  Ah, but you can. Maybe not the facts. Or the people. Or the pain. But you can change the meaning you assign to those things. It is the label you place on your experience that determines its impact. Consider holocaust survivor and pioneering positive thinker, Viktor Frankl, who said,

“Everything can be taken from a man or woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Ah hah! The worst-conceivable things can be happening around and near and to me, and yet I get to choose what those things mean to me. I get to choose how I tune myself into my world.

A favorite positive thinker I follow, who goes by the pen name, “Cast Light,” said in a brief article today,

What you look for you will find. So if you’re looking for something to complain about or someone to talk about, there will be plenty to find. Cynicism, complaint and negativity are easy and decrease our capacity to see beauty and blessings. Adventure into joy every day.

Isn’t that cool – using adventure as a verb? An action you choose for yourself. To adventure. An action that transports you to a wavelength of joy.

When really connecting with someone interesting, have you ever said to yourself, “Wow, we’re on the same wavelength.”  Think about that word for a moment — “wavelength.” Sharing a similar rhythm. Aligning your experiences. Being in the same moment.

What power we have!

Here’s an experiment to try.

I’m confident that this 60-second exercise will either resonate with an already-happy mood if you have one, or begin to change your mood wavelength toward a positive direction. Whether it works or not, I’d like to connect with you to learn how you respond.  The experiment is simple:

1. Ask yourself how happy you feel at this moment on a 1-10 scale (10 = very happy).

2. Take 60 seconds to view this “Happiest Facts of All Time” article from Buzzfeed and Reddit.

3. Come back to my site and post your thoughts, along with any change to your happiness rating that resulted from viewing the Happiest Facts article.

If your mood wavelength hasn’t budged upward, even a smidge, I’ll send you a quarter in the mail.

What have you got to lose?


happy1.jpg A key to happiness and design success

Oprah’s been hanging out with best-selling author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle, and their focus is happiness.  Tolle’s latest work, A New Earth, provides practical teachings for waking up to a new, enlightened mind-set.  So, what does this new-agey stuff have to do with learning, design, and leadership?  Enter eudaimonia. Research shows that genuinely happy people have something called “eudaimonia” in common:

Finding your (design’s) “most golden self.”

A combination of the Greek eu (“good”) and daimon (“spirit”), eudaimonia means striving toward excellence based on one’s unique talents and potential—Aristotle considered it to be the noblest goal in life.

In Aristotle’s time, the Greeks believed that each child was blessed at birth with a personal daimon embodying the highest possible expression of his or her nature. One way they envisioned the daimon was as a golden figurine that would be revealed by cracking away an outer layer of cheap pottery (the person’s base exterior). The effort to know and realize one’s most golden self—”personal growth,” in today’s lingo—is now the central concept of eudaimonia, which has also come to include continually taking on new challenges and fulfilling one’s sense of purpose in life.

I submit that, like life design, training design should pursue eudamonia. Let’s crack away the outer layer of extra words and elements that mask the true message we are trying to deliver. Whether that means using more white space in our layout or trimming content to only the most salient points, the search for eudaimonia is a mantra I’m willing to repeat. 

Tell us how you have experienced eudaimonia…