Know anyone who's making their fortune in the railroad industry?
Dated or not, I believe that the principles in this chapter hold true. Wattles says that some of the existing industries are pretty well sewn up, there's not much chance of our getting rich in them. I have to agree. He also says that opportunity abounded in industries that don’t yet exist, and people will get rich in them. He might have been thinking of the infant oil industry, back in 1910. That spawned a lot of millionaires and billionaires, J Paul Getty springs to mind, and he's just one of many-many. Oil, automobiles, the aerospace industry, computers...? No, Wattles was for sure not thinking of the computer industry a hundred-plus years ago, not even in his wildest and most adventuresome dreams. The silicon valley didn't even exist, Heck, it didn't even exist when I was growing up there (photo to prove I existed, circa 1965) The silicon chip had just been invented when that picture was taken, and look at it now - miniscular!
One thing for sure: When Wattles predicted opportunities in industries that didn't yet exist, he nailed it!
Meanwhile, is it possible to get rich in industries that do exist? I hope so, because in my dreams, I'd like to get rich in the literary industry. You know what my crazy dream is, really? A blockbuster movie based on one of my novels. That’s how I’d like to get rich. That's an industry that already exists. Now, if only I could find a way to connect with it! On the other hand, perhaps my particular opportunity lies somewhere completely different, in something I’ve yet to discover. I’m okay with that. Who knows what industries may show up in the future? I’ve seen clips on YouTube about a couple guys who invented a machine that potters about on the ocean gobbling up plastic bags. Maybe they'll make their fortune as inventors, in the soon-to-be recognized Planet-Salvation industry. Or how about this video, about a mall - not just a store, but a whole mall full of stores - where all the shops sell either Recycled, Re-purposed or Up-cycled goods? That's a current industry (thrift shops!) taken to a whole new level (The Video is HERE) Who knows what's to come? What Future Industries can you dream up? I imagined the “Planet Salvation” industry. Now it’s your turn. Tell us about your wild (or not so wild) ideas in COMMENTS below. IMAGINE THIS: Although your imaginary industry might not be your particular opportunity, what if, someday in the future... ...someone stumbles upon this blog, sees your COMMENT and cries, “Oh my gosh! That’s mine - that’s the opportunity where I can make my mark. I have something to contribute to that infant industry!” Wouldn’t that be fun?
Thanks for sharing your brilliance, Elaine PS: to get an email when I write again, go HERE
One of this blog's followers recently accused me (bless her heart) of wanting to make other folks be happier. “Don’t expect me to pretend I’m happy!” she said emphatically. “I feel how I feel, and that’s how I’m going to feel.” I understand where she’s coming from. Like her, I usually dig in my heels when other people start telling me what I ought to do.
“You have to eat less if you want to lose weight.”
“Smoking is bad for you, you should stop.”
“If you want to succeed, you must ….”
You, you, you …. “YOU” is a word that pushes my resistance button, big time. So, I want to make one thing really, really clear:
This Blog isn't meant to tell anyone (other than me-myself) to be happy or happier.
This experiment is not about other people. I’m not about to venture into telling YOU what to do or how to feel. Nope, no way. This here blog is purely and completely all about me. We all have the right to feel how we feel, think what we think, believe what we believe, and live as we want to live. It’s a personal choice. There’s a certain Fizz about experiencing life fully, as it happens, without trying to control it.
On the other hand, it's kind of interesting, isn't it, to see if we can change a dominant emotional state? It could be anything. Instead of happier, I might have chosen to feel more prosperous, or more compassionate, or more _______________(fill in the blank). The process would be much the same. For me, it goes like this: First, develop an awareness of how we feel, on a daily, hourly, even minute-by-minute basis. The rubber hits the road when we check in with ourselves and notice that we are experiencing something other than our desired feeling. That’s the moment of choice. Is it easy to exercise the choice? In all honesty, I have to say not for me, not this week,. My problem is a plague of forgetfulness. I literally forget that I want to be happier. I find myself wallowing in other, far less enjoyable, feelings. Worse yet, there’s a part of me that wants to stay in that nice mucky stinky disgusting familiar comfortable mire. Don’t tell me what to do!
Unfortunately, darn it, I committed myself to this blog about making myself happier, so I can’t allow myself to wallow around here in this so-familiar muck. I have to find a way, or ways, of pulling myself out. Got suggestions? What do you do (if or when) you want to feel cheerier? All suggestions welcome! Add them in COMMENTS below. Happy Today, Elaine PS: Are you subscribed to the Happiness Blog? if not, Go HEREand I'll let you know next time I write.
Dear Friends, As you know, I intend to dig deep into The Science of Getting Rich this year, to find out if it will work for me. I staked my claim, so to speak, with my ‘inclusive’ version of the text.
I set to work in January on the Preface and Chapter 1 and I was just starting to drill into Chapter 2 last week when I hit what felt like impassible bedrock. I read that:
This is an exact science.
The methodology must be followed exactly.
EXACT!?! Follow it EXACTLY?!? Oh no!
The Scream, Edvard Munch, 1893
There goes any plan I had of ever getting rich with this Science. If I am an expert in anything, it’s in the making of mistakes. I fully believe that it’s not just okay for me to make mistakes, it’s a good thing when I do! If I’m not making mistakes, I can pretty much guarantee I’m not doing much. But here’s we are at the very start of Chapter Two, and what I’m hearing is, “NO MISTAKES!!!!” if I can’t make mistakes with something as complicated and difficult as Getting Rich, this here Science ain’t a-gonna work for me. Talk about discouraging! On the other hand, I really am determined to mine this Science of Getting Rich for all its worth. Giving up doesn’t work for me. Besides, I’ve got a blog to write! I can’t quit. One thing I’ve learned about mistakes is that everyone makes them. At the same time, I’ve seen and heard sound evidence for the fact the some people have mined gold out of this book. They’ve taken its principles and gotten rich. So you follow the logic here, don’t you?
Everyone makes mistakes,
Some of those ‘everyone-s’ have used the Science successfully.
Therefore, it must be possible to do both.
So it’s back to the shovels and pickaxes for me. Digging into Chapter Two, I found the nuggets I needed: - Our Mr. Wattles says it is NOT difficult to get rich. Anyone can do it, he says; all sorts of people do it. It doesn’t matter where we live, nor our race, culture, religion, gender, or age. Even our current financial status and/or vocation won’t matter because this Science has worked for all sorts of folk in all sorts of conditions. That’s encouraging. He says as well that we don’t need any particular talents or expertize. We don’t even have to be very smart, since even blockheads (his term, not mine) get rich. If even blockheads can get rich, there is hope for me! I’d add another caveat, one that says even people who run into problems along the way can get rich. Every successful miner had tales of difficulties and challenges along the way. I expect I’ll run into them as I dig into Chapter Three in the coming week.
Determinedly yours, Elaine H
PS If you haven’t already, you can CLICK HERE to hang in here with me as I mine The Science of Getting Rich
It doesn’t take much to make me happy. A few flowers on the kitchen counter is enough to raise a smile on my face and in my heart. That’s nothing new, but here’s the difference: BEFORE: I would have bought the hyacinth. I’ve bought one every year for the past few years, about this time of year. I love the sweet fragrance, the scent of spring perfuming my home while spring is months off. In the past, I would have occasionally noticed and enjoyed it, sitting there in its grocery-store plastic pot.
White primula, orange same; budding hyacinth, Christmas cactus
AFTER : I bought my yearly hyacinth last week while doing the grocery shopping. That's 'normal' but today I found myself doing something abnormal: I walked into the grocery store, into their cleverly positioned spring blossoms display. The primulas in particular caught my attention. I've got an area of dappled sun in my garden where primulas bloom for most of the three warmer seasons. But of course, February is much too early for buying more, pretty as they are. Those force-bloom babies would curl up and freeze to death in my garden this early in the year. Displays like this, I reminded myself, are a trick! Customers buy spring plants far too early, the poor things succumb, and the customers, poor fools, repeat the purchase when the weather improves. I'm not falling for that money-grubbing trick, I told myself - as I tell myself every year about this time. This year .... myself didn't listen. I impulsively added a couple pretty primulas to my cart. Back home in the kitchen, I put everything away. I even folded up the reusable bags and tucked them in their box under the counter. Meanwhile, there sat the two pretty little primulas. There too was the hyacinth from the previous week in its plastic pot. Hmmm.... I got the white platter out of the cupboard (Move over Martha Stewart!) collected December’s defunct Christmas cactus out of the family room, and created this pretty little kitchen-counter garden.
Does this little garden make me happier than my single hyacinth of past years? You bet it does! I’m milking it for all it’s worth, squeezing out all the happiness-juice that I possibly can. It's a feast for the senses. For example: The colours of the blooms delight my eyes, especially those orangey-red ones. Each time I notice them, I enjoy a smug sense of having created something that gives me great pleasure. Talk about being nice to myself! The Christmas cactus reminds me of our pleasant, albeit unexpected, holiday-season. The hyacinth will soon unfold its aromatic delight, and meanwhile I enjoy a delicious anticipation of the morning I walk out into the kitchen and sniff up a flowery note, in addition to the welcoming scent of coffee, There’s still more to anticipate: When the hyacinth’s heavy blossom droops and dies, the pot will go out to the garden shed to await that spring day when I’ll dig the bulb into the bed with the others I’ve collected over the years. The primulas are destined to join their many-coloured brethren around the feet of the roses. The funny thing is that when I paused to add a few potted plants to my grocery cart, I had no idea that I was working on this crazy Happiness project. It was just a mad impulse purchase, made against my better judgement. I expected when I started this Happiness Experiment that I’d attract more things to make me happy. That’s how the law of attraction works: "What we focus on increases," so they say. Believing that, I did expect to attract more reasons to be happy, but I expected those reasons to show up ‘out of the blue’. Someone might buy me flowers, for example. I surely did not expect that someone to be me. Isn’t it odd? All I’ve been doing is deliberately shifting how I feel. Most unexpectedly my behavior has changed as a result, and here I am with a mini garden in my kitchen, a pleasant little reason to feel happy right now. I suspect that this happens for any feelings that we foster, whether positive or negative. You know which ones I'm working on! In Happiness, Elaine
.Dear Friends, I’m diving into Chapter Two this week, but first, let’s review what we’ve got so far: The best reason for getting rich is so that we can live these lives we’ve been given more fully. By being rich, we can be more fully ourselves, unrestricted by financial restraints. I’m on board for that, aren’t you? Imagine the things we could do! Imagine having all the tools needed to create whatever we’d like. Imagine being able to hire all the help we’d need, from technicians to teachers. Imagine … ah, dreams! How very fully we would live, if only we lived unrestricted by financial limitations. So, on to Chapter Two, where we start with this bold statement: There is a Science to Getting Rich.
Already I'm baking the Doubt Cake, because I find that a really weird use of the term ‘Science’. Of course I know that language changes, and words evolve. I imagine if Shakespeare heard how even the most literate of us talk today he would recoil in astounded horror. The point is that this term "Science" means something far different today than it did back in 1910. Back then, most folks believed that Science was infallible. If something was Proved by Science, that meant it was Absolutely True - no doubts, no questions! It was carved in stone. We 21st Century folks, on the other hand, know just how fallible science can be. Yesterday’s True Scientific Fact in today's joke! Our understanding of our physical world is consistently being blown out of the water as new instruments and new technology are applied, as new minds are applied to old problems. Consequently, I’m not exactly convinced when I’m told that “There is a Science to getting rich” that will infallibly work for me. I’m skeptical at best. Mind you, being skeptical is not the same being cynical.
The cynic, told that this so-called Science would make him rich, would say, “Yeah right, tell me another one” and toss the book into the bin. I’d call that throwing the baby out with the bathwater. As skeptics, on the other hand, we say, “hmmm … What an odd claim, that there’s a ‘science’ to getting rich. I wonder what the heck he means by that?” We skeptics want to save the baby. She might just be able to teach us how to get rich! She’s worth nurturing.
So what is our Mr. Wattles trying to communicate with his old-fashioned use of this words Science? Perhaps a modern rendition could be: “There is a procedure for getting rich that really works. It’s the way used by everyone who has ever gotten rich, whether they realize it or not.” He might well add, “Try it! It will work for you, I promise.” NOW we get to the scary part: He says the procedure we have to follow needs to be followed exactly. EXACTLY, no errors or omissions permitted.
Frankly, I don’t know if I’m capable of being that precise. I’m not a particularly precise follower of rules. Hand me a recipe, I immediately start playing around with it. If I don’t happen to have a quarter teaspoon of cloves, I’ll throw in approximately the same amount of allspice
This recipe for getting rich requires that we follow it precisely. No cheating, no substituting, no approximating. I’m not in the least bit certain I can do that. Not in the least bit! Is it really possible for ME to get rich? It might be possible for other people; it might be possible for you, but me? Who knows? The only way to find out is by doing my level best to follow the recipe just the way it’s written, here in our book, so - that’s what I’ll do. Beset by doubts, but persisting,Elaine H PS: If you want your own copy of The Science of Getting Rich, here's a link to order a copy of the book:
Dear Friends, I got a belated Christmas letter this week from one of a very long-term friends, and the poor guy has had a hell of a year. He tells of helping his dear ones through devastating illnesses, and the deaths of others whom he held close. My heart grieves for him. Even at second hand, sorrow is deflating, and as my generation grows older, sorrow and suffering and loss are quite naturally become a larger part of our experience. I go to a lot more funerals now than I did in my younger days.
As I read my friend’s letter, I wondered: Is it even possible to be, on a day-to-day basis, happier now than I was at a younger age, considering that I have a lot more reasons nowadays for feeling low? It’s kinda’ hard to feel all jolly, fizzy and happy when sad things come our way. I wonder if I’m bucking an inevitably lowering tide. Oh dear!
On the other hand, I sure don’t want to be an unhappy old woman. I wouldn’t want to inflict that upon myself nor upon anyone else. For one thing, chronic unhappiness isn’t good for our health, so it can become a vicious cycle: we’re unhappy, our health deteriorates, which gives us more to be unhappy about. I don't want to jump onto that merry-go-round, nor be pushed onto it by circumstances. I'm reminded of my maternal grandmother.
A Family Story:
When Grandma was in the long, slow process of dying, many many year ago, my parents made a trip back to Nebraska to see her one last time. Poor Grandma was in hospital, where she had suffered the amputation of first one leg, then the other. (Don't know why; maybe an attempt to deal with diabetic neuropathy? I was a child at the time). This is the story my father brought home: When they finally arrived at her bedside on a busy hospital ward, he told me, he was astounded to find that little old woman in very bright, good spirits. He knew that her prognosis wasn’t good; he knew that she knew it too. "Mother D, how on earth can you be so cheerful?" She gave him her gentle sweet smile. “If I'm unhappy, the people around me will be the same. I wouldn’t like that very much. I like to be surrounded by happy people."
Courageous woman, my grandmother. She's a role-model for this business of being happy in the face of adverse circumstances. I so much admire her determination. She would say, and I'd agree, that we simply cannot allow circumstances to be the determining factor in how we feel. If we do, we become victims of circumstances. Oddly enough, being a victim of circumstances works both ways: “There he is,” says the woman in the novel I’m reading. “Jonah! The reason for my happiness ….” You know what happens in novels - pretty soon, her reason for being happy is going to up and do something wrong - fall for another woman, say the wrong thing, something ... and there her happiness will go, out the window! It’s so easy to be dependent on circumstances for our happiness, and Oh! How fleeting such happiness can be! I’m fairly sure I’m not the only one who has discovered the elusiveness of happiness based on people and events. Here today, gone tomorrow, right? Who needs the disappointment?
Far better, I believe, to be happy regardless of circumstances. That's what I'm aiming for, this year. Will there be suffering? No doubt. What can we do, to lift our mood when life tastes like sour lemons? The cliche says, 'make lemonade' but what I want to know is, "HOW?" How do we 'make lemonade'?
Thankfully, along with the lemons, there will no doubt be sweeter fruits. I promise you, I'll be savoring those far more this year than I ever did in the past. I believe that is one, at least, of the antidotes for the circumstantially-induced unhappiness. I'm looking for others - and I'm more than open to suggestions! I'll be grateful if you'd put them in COMMENTS, below. I'd love to hear from you. Sincerely, Elaine H PS: More next week! Subscribe HERE and I’ll let you know when it's up.
Dear Friends, As you know, I’m committed to buying into all of Wattles’ ideas this year, to see if this so-called Science of Getting Rich really works. I’m still in Chapter One, mulling on this idea that our purpose here on this planet is to live expanding lives. The first time I read this chapter, just half a year ago, I bought into this idea, wholesale. It made sense that our purpose is to grow and flourish. As a gardener, as a country woman, I see that all of nature is that way inclined. Everywhere around me I see growth and expansion. Everything is in a state of becoming, growing and changing. I could also see the flip side of the coin: I know how beeping restrictive it is to have insufficient income. As a young person looking forward to my life, I wanted to go far beyond the narrow limits of my upbringing. I wanted to live in many places, study and learn and create and generally wallow in all the variety of a richly variable world. And here’s how illogical I was: I didn’t realize that the sort of life I visualized would be far more do-able if I took time, first, to get rich. As it was, I couldn’t afford the varied and interesting life I wanted. I was restricted by the narrow limits of what I could afford. I became a real expert at doing-without. It’s not that I ever wanted a lot of “stuff”. I’m more of a minimalist than a consumer in regard to things. Not that there’s anything innately wrong with wanting stuff - the economy (and my income) are largely fueled by a trickle-down from those who enjoy ownership of material goods - but I’m not constituted that way. If I’d been richer years ago, I would have bought a lot more academic education. If I had more income now, I’d buy a lot more books and I’d hire people to do the housework, help with the gardening, etc. so that I’d have time to read them, as well as time to write more, sew more, maybe sign up for drawing lessons … So many things to experience! If only I were rich. Oh yes, I was sold on the idea that we are born to live expanding lives, and on the idea to remove the limits on our lives is by getting rich - when I first read The Science of Getting Rich. Then my old programming began kicking in: It’s wrong to want to be rich. We aren’t balloons that need to be puffed up. I’m fine the way I am, I have enough to live on, I should be grateful for what I have instead of wanting to get rich, and anyway, getting rich is an impossibility for a person like me …. And so on. You probably know this rant - you may have ranted it yourself. This is the catch: In order to test this so-called Science, I’m going to have to put aside all those money-&-finance ideas that were programmed into my innocent child’s mind, and buy into the idea that it is Right to WANT to Get Rich. Is it actually possible to do that? We’ll find out.
If you’d like to hang with me as I continue to experiment with The Science of Getting Rich, you can sign in HERE and I’ll let you know when I write next week. Thanks for doing so! Optimistically Yours, Elaine H
Dear Friends, Sometimes I forget that I’m doing this Happiness Experiment. Hours go by and then suddenly I wake up and remember: Oh right, I promised myself I’d choose happiness! Back to work I go, and yes, it does feel like work sometimes, I must admit. There’s part me that doesn’t want to make the effort. Happily, the part that made the promise is stronger. Also happily, I’ve found a number of ways to increase my happiness quotient. Last week, I wrote about how thoughts of appreciation and gratitude lifted me out of the bathroom-cleaning funk. If you missed that, it’s HERE. This week I’ve been using a different strategy: I intend to feel happy, I say to myself. I choose to feel happy. I do! I feel happy, right now….” And there it is, that delicious, fizziness in the chest, like I’m filled with the very best of imaginary champagnes. There’s the smile. OH, how I love this feeling! I am vibrating with bubbly delight.
I wonder if it works this way for everyone? Can we just say, “I choose to feel happy, right here and now, in this very moment,” and it's like drinking champagne? We feel the fizz and our mood levitates? Does it work for you? Can you just say, “I feel happy,” and there you go, smiling? I’d like to think it works that way for everyone, but who knows? I’ve been working at this for a few weeks now, perhaps it comes with practice? For that matter, I’ve been working on this art of deliberate emotional-control for several years. Funny, isn’t it, how we usually think of “emotional control” as the tamping down of our feelings, rather than the deliberate choosing of how we feel? Here’s a story for you: A few years ago, I got fed up with the anxiety I habitually felt around money and finances. Even though I could manufacture LOTS of good reasons to feel anxious in this area, I knew my life would be much pleasanter if I could foster different feelings. Anxiety didn’t really serve me, it was just a habit I’d picked up from my Mom. It took several years, but I eventually taught myself to feel comfortable, rather than anxious, about that particular area of my life. What a relief! My circumstances hadn’t changed, but I sure felt a lot better without all that self-inflicted stress! During those years of moving from anxiety to feeling comfortable around money, I backslid a lot. Consequently it comes as no great surprise, now, when I find myself falling off this Happiness wagon. As soon as my attention wanders, the wonderful fizziness of the happiness champagne evaporates. Well, rats-a-frat! Here I am, flat-lining again. Put the smile back on, I remind myself. Choose to feel happy. Repeat the exercise …. Repeat … Repeat again. This is how to become a happier person, by being happier as often as I can. How about you? If you tried that business of saying, "I feel happy", let me know how it felt for you. Did it work? Yes/No/Maybe? I'd love hear about your experiences with Deliberate Happiness. Elaine H PS: Want to follow the Happiness Blog? Click HERE to join the fun
Dear Friends, I’m plunging into The Science of Getting Rich, and Chapter One makes me feel like I’ve been pushed in the deep end! It begins with “The Right to be Rich”. It’s right to be rich? Really? That certainly goes SLAP right up against my programming! I was always taught that it is wrong to be rich. “Harder for a rich (person) to get into heaven it is for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle,” as it says in the Bible. My parents, shabby Christians though they were, certainly agreed with that. Years later, a would-be biblical scholar told me that “the eye of the needle” was actually a reference to a geographic feature - a narrow and treacherous passage through the mountainous desert.
Imagine it: A caravan of heavy-laden camels threads their way in slow single file through the twisting passage, each one tied by a looping rope to the next in line. The heat of the desert sun beats down, its merciless rays reflected from the walls of the crevasse. Dust billows up around men and beasts as they plod doggedly onward, longing for the cool of the oasis that awaits on the far side of this shortcut. Suddenly the entire lineup stumbles to a halt. An overloaded pack has caught between the rocky outcroppings of a corner, the camel wedged like a cork in a bottle. She tries to lunge forward, to no effect. Her dismal bellow of protest sets the others to similar noisy protest, while men add their own raised voices to the cacophony. Someone squeezes past the hairy legs to grab at the stuck one’s lead-rope. She is detached from those in front and behind, while other hands struggle to free the pack from the clutches of the narrow passage. The caravan master makes his way through the herd, takes one look, and barks an order. “Back her up!” Camels don’t like backing up, but at last she is free. A jerk on her lead line and a couple sharp raps on her bony knees bring her down into a crouch on the stony trail. Furious at this delay, the caravan leader demands to know which of them had loaded her. “Any idiot could see this pack wouldn’t make it through the Eye!” The pack is taken off the saddle, the bundles retied, the whole load rebuilt. When the adjustments are done, the dromedary is urged to her feet and the order comes to proceed, through the Eye of the Needle and out to the oasis beyond. It’s a challenging passage, but do-able. So too, it may be hard for a rich person to get into Heaven - but no one said it is impossible. Some adjustments may be needed, of course. That being the case, I’m willing to make some adjustments. The first one will be my surrender of this idea that it is WRONG to be rich. Chapter One gives us a pretty good argument for the rightness. I choose to believe, with Wattles, that we are here to live expanding lives. I’ll write more about that next time. All the Best, Elaine H PS: If you don’t have a copy of the Science of Getting Rich, click below:
Dear Friends, Monday is bathroom-cleaning day around here. Needless to say, that is not my most-favourite way to spend half an hour, but it’s got to be done, doesn’t it? Yesterday I found myself standing in the tub, scrubbing down the walls with these standard bathroom-cleaning thoughts running through my mind:
I hate this job. It’s hard physical work, too hard for a woman of my age. And talk about tedious - Mirror, sink, shower, toilet, floor; change out the towels. Then when I’m done here, the towels have to go into the washing machine, then the dryer, then they have to be folded and put away and then next week I’ll have it to do all over again. What a waste of my precious time!! Why am I the one who always has to clean the blasted bathroom? Why can’t himself do it once in a while? I’m sure not the only one who uses it, but he never thinks about that, does he? He probably thinks the bathroom just gets clean by magic; I just wiggle my nose and voila! Shiny taps! I hate this … “ There was a lot more to the spiel before, out of the blue, a jolt of awareness hit. “WHOA!” I exclaimed. “Wait a minute here. Whoa, stop. What the heck am I thinking? This is NOT happiness!” Those ugly thoughts I was running were anything but happy, but trust me, The bathroom fixtures weren’t the only thing that needed a good scrub and polish. I turned on the shower, rinsed down the shower and reminded myself of my 2019 motto, the basis of this whole Happiness Experiment: “Happiness is a choice we can make as we start the day.” Since I have such a deeply engrained habit of being not-happy, the choice to feel happy is one I have to make over and over and over again throughout the course of the day. I picked up the toilet brush, and asked myself, “Would it make me happier to down tools and NOT clean the bathroom?” No, because I like living in a clean home, it is a gift I give myself. I could ask himself to do this job occasionally, but then he might reasonably expect me to do my share of lawn-mowing, vehicle-maintenance, etc., none of which I care to tackle. We sorted out this division of household labour a long time ago. Who does the work isn’t the crucial question. The crux of the matter is what thoughts, what attitudes, do I choose to run as the background music for my work? I took out another dry rag and began the final dry-and-polish. Cleaning the bathroom is routine that it takes but little mind-power, so I began to deliberately thing thoughts that would make me happier: “This is a pretty nice bathroom; I like my pretty shower curtain, and especially this curving curtain rod; thank you to whatever genius bathroom-designer came up with that idea, a decade or two ago! Thank you to the previous owner of this house for installing one here for me to enjoy and appreciate.” My rant of appreciation continued as I mopped my way out of the room, a smile on my face. I felt satisfied with two jobs well-done: a clean bathroom, and thoughts I didn’t want or need successfully flushed away (couldn’t resist that) on a flood of happier ones. I wonder what other tricks or techniques we could use when our mood is lowered by circumstances, or rather, by our thoughts and reactions to circumstances? Share yours in COMMENTS below, because we’re all in this together. All the Best Always, Elaine H PS: If you’ve enjoyed this and would like to follow the Happiness Experiment, please ENROLL HERE and I will let you know when there’s a new post.