23 wellbeing things. No. 18, Join the 6%ers

Comedy/tragedy

To some extent, the life we experience is down to how we choose to approach it.

Some people are mood hoovers.  You must have met them or indeed proudly be one!  Mood hoovers find life miserable.  Not that anything in particular is wrong or troubling them, nor that they are depressed or deeply unhappy, only that they notice all the little things that don’t work properly, they fuss over all the little things that are not quite perfect, moan alarmingly about things that all turned out right in the end but might not have done in a parallel universe, and are convinced that nothing will turn out well.  Luckless, joyless, pessimistic and dour, the mood hoover has the capacity to bring down any prevailing good mood.  Let’s face it we’ve all been there at some point, we’ve all been that person in the room – only happy when thoroughly miserable.  The thing is, mood hoovers not only make dismal company but they don’t enjoy life much themselves either.

Most people, for the most part, are in the middle of the scale – between the extremes of pessimism and joyful ecstasy at being alive.  Welcome to being “normal”.  It’s a little dull here.

Consider then, what life is like for the top 6% (according to positive psychology research) who wake each morning and decide, arbitrarily, that today is going to be excellent.  They have no reason to expect the day to go well, no special secret to success, they just decide that if they have to live today and do certain things, they might as well set about them expecting them to be the most exciting and wonderful experiences imaginable.  Lucky, happy, enthusiastic, joyous and enjoying the ride, these people seem to have it all made.  Their enthusiasm is infectious and can sweep the majority along, get more done and make doing it a whole lot more fun, make them likeable, and ease the way the day pans out.  The most radiant 6%ers can even outshine the hard vacuum of joylessness surrounding a practiced mood hoover, although if you are just heading out to reach the top 6%, such might be best avoided for a while.

So you have a choice – you can wake up and decide to wallow in misery, pointing out the grey lining to every silver cloud, meander through life without incident, or decide that every day is going to be a good day to live, and throw yourself into it with the expectation that everything will be the best it can possibly be under the circumstances, looking excitedly for the silver lining to every grey cloud, and enjoying everything good that comes your way.  It’s all in your approach to life, and while feeling bad can affect you temporarily, positive thinking can make you healthier, happier and better in all sorts of ways.

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