by Andrea Goeglein
The Spotlight Activity is my focus for this week to create more happiness in my life. I am participating in a Positive Psychology research project led by Sonja Lyubomirsky at UC Riverside. The goal is to notice when I am doing something I do not want to continue doing, and shift to an activity I would prefer. Put the spotlight on some activity that rejuvenates my attention so I can shift my mood and thinking. This exercise is based on a simple definition of happiness: “I’m happy when I want to continue doing what I’m doing.”
When I found myself in the midst of doing a whole lot of what I did not want to be doing this morning, I paused and thought “what would I like to do?” What came to me was I had wanted to put a list of quotes that had inspired together in one document. So that is exactly what I did. I got out the book in which I had marked a bunch of pages with quotes and began to type. Here are just a few:
It took years for me to realize that the very twists and turns and shadows I labeled “problems” were really sacred ground. Danna Faulds
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. Rumi
If you can’t be grateful for what you have received, then be thankful for what you have been spared. Yiddish proverb
I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. Maya Angelou
Guess what? It worked. I had invested maybe 10 minutes in my little typing exercise, but by the time I stopped I was noticeably feeling better. My brain felt clearer and I began again to undertake a more difficult task that needed doing.
Dr. Success Challenge: Create your own Spotlight Activity. During the next week whenever you notice your mood shifting into negative territory and you are losing focus, engage in an activity that you enjoy for a short period of time. Listen to an upbeat song, call a friend, take a 10 minute meditation break or type up some quotes that inspire you.
Even though the research results are not complete, I am confident that your spotlight activity will garner positive results, just as mine did. Taking the time to care about yourself enough to pause, refocus, engage and re-engage should make you sense that you know you matter.
P.S. I took the photo today on my morning walk. I was taken by the contrasting elements of nature: strong mountain, green growth, dark clouds and of course the rainbow. Looked a lot like life to me! Enjoy. Thank you.