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102 Key Principles for Success

Principle 52 - It is How you View Things

Tony Robbins, in one of his books, tells a great story, which I'll paraphrase here.
There's a party going on and imagine you take 2 videos of the party. The first recording is on one side of the couch where people are laughing, drinking and having a great time. You can see the enjoyment in their body language and the energy they emit.

You make another recording at the same party, where people are fighting, look bored, lonely. They just want to get the hell out of the there.

So is this a great party or a bad party? It depends on which video you watch. The fun one and it's a fun party. The boring one and it's a horrible party. But it's the same party.

The lesson I get from Tony which is:

It's not what's happening to you that matters. It's how you view it.

Some people will be miserable no matter what great things happen in their life. There's always someone with more money a better-looking spouse or house. Their life isn't perfect.

Then there's the poor child in war-torn Syria that is out with his friends and is happy to be alive.

So a key principle for success is it's not what you achieve it's how you view it. Just like Tony's two camera example.

If you're working out with weights and you feel the pain in your muscles it's good. But if you feel that exact same pain and told it's from a disease you feel horrible. So the pain of lifting weights depending on how you look at it makes a big difference.

In Sam Harris's great book Waking Up, he tells a story about a flood in his house. While he's panicking over this I think his wife says, "at least it's not a sewer pipe that broke." And right away the way he viewed this incident made it much less upsetting by just contrasting it with a more negative event.

If you ever hate your job, just think about how much you'd hate being laid-off, unemployed and looking for a new job.

You can ease the anger and anxiety of any situation by just focusing on how it could have been worse and there's always something worse. I can complain about my boss but there are really so many worse bosses. I can complain about not getting a promotion but I just got one a year ago but I wanted a better title. I can complain about anything but happiness comes from being happy with what you have not what you don't have.

There are an infinite number of things you don't have. Focus on this and how will you feel? Focus on what you have and take for granted. It's a choice and it's yours. Choose wisely.

There will always be something you don't have so if you focus on this you will be miserable. It's a no-win situation, to be in a search of what you don't have. You can have a billion dollars and be sad that you don't have two billion.

Happiness is more about the trend you're on that the actual state. If you're trending well, you'll feel better than if you're trending poorly. Even if you don't have much. Someone who finds $20 and is very poor will feel better than a billionaire finding $20. He thinks "what do I care."

Your mood is a function of your thoughts. Now of course there are situations that will sadden or anger you but even in these sad times you can eventually enjoy the times you had. If you're having a problem thinking too many negative thoughts, then for each negative thought you have think about two positive thoughts.

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