Building a Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Did you ever say to yourself, “Once I finish this project I’ll relax and have fun.” or “Once I know my child can read, then I’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel and be happy.”What if, by setting yourself to experience the positive, LATER, you sabotage your productivity, creativity and access to your own wisdom NOW?

How, you might ask, can I be happy when circumstances in my world are difficult, painful and stressful? This presents an interesting paradox because research is beginning to prove what many of us discover by trial and error – happiness begets happiness. Positivity breeds creativity, strength and wisdom. Focusing on an ever unattainable “someday when” we reinforce stress reactions in our bodies and brains, creating more stress.

This reality applies to learning as well as parenting. It is easy, very easy I admit, to focus on the deficits, unattained goals, unwanted behaviors and disappointments. To look at a child’s work and see the mistakes or to look at our children in general and see all the ways they do not match our visions/dreams/fantasies of the children we would have. Whether we say something or not, consider the idea that we broadcast energetically this “not enough yet” attitude to our children. We train the brain, ours and theirs, to see/believe/act from a negative baseline with happiness and positivity just over the horizon, and if attained, temporary at best. We are well supported by society in this unconscious pursuit of happiness (did you notice the Declaration of Independence doesn’t say we all have a right to BE happy, but to pursue happiness – think about it!)

But….my child can’t read; he’s on the Autistic Spectrum; she can’t sit still in class, am I supposed to ignore these things? No, of course not. But how you address them is crucial. And, this takes some inner exploration. Are these situations in your child’s life you are addressing from a positive accepting, they are wonderful just the way they are and we are going to see if we can make things easier, perspective? Or are these problems to solve in order to achieve happiness? The difference may seem subtle, but it is huge. Consider these questions deeper than your first response and if you find your answers not to be what you would like, no need to judge yourself, just choose if you want to change that underlying premise.

In this wonderfully funny and engaging 12 minute video, Shawn Achor talks about the forces that pull us toward wanting “normal” and the value of bucking the trend and putting happiness first.For example did you know that:

  1.  Our brains are more productive when we are positive?
  2.  When positive we work harder, faster, and are more intelligent?
  3.  Happiness turns on the learning centers in our brains?

How do you find happiness and positivity even when life isn’t the way you’d like it to be? Shawn gives 5 simple things you can do to make the change CLICK HERE To Watch the Video.

So be brave, be different, you’ll be a happier person, and a much better parent, friend, spouse, teacher, counselor, learner….

Here’s to your happiness!



  1. Wendy Kitson (HANDLE Intern) says:

    Hello Sindy

    HANDLE browsing brought me to your website tonight and then this blog including Shaun’s video – wanted to say how much I enjoyed this … sometimes it can be hard to escape the cult of the average right enough and help those who do! Thanks I will keep an eye on your future blogs for inspiration and ideas.

    Best Wendy

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