What uses positivity unless it’s to help us be happier and less stressed. You get seven specific strategies today. Scott Wilhite is back with me today at Live on Purpose TV. He is the author of the seven core skills of everyday happiness which is one of my favorite books now, Scott. You really introduced some game-changing opportunities here which we’ve talked about before on the channel. The main thing folks that I got from this is that happiness is a skill. I’ve been out there all this time to teach in them it’s a choice. Oh, I hated that. That was bugged me because I was choosing happiness every day and I was getting more miserable every single day. I used to hear it to annoy you, right? Well, and it is a choice. It is. But it’s a choice kind of like playing the piano is a choice, right? But well, but also sometimes we can get mixed up in doing things that we think will bring us happiness and it really doesn’t. And we just get mired in this and, you know. We think it’s going to make it super happy and yet we get to the end and it doesn’t and so, we think we need more or the next or something and we’re just on that rap that squirrel-cage. And it’s so frustrating. And I was there for so long. So, yeah. This was written because I needed to learn it and because I had just discovered a little secret there. And thank you for that acknowledgement. Because sometimes you’ll watch the channel here and it’s like, “Oh, there’s Dr. Paul and there’s the big author Scott. Well, they never really had it hard.” Well, first of all, you don’t know where we’ve been. But Scott, you just illuminated and acknowledged that you’ve been there. You’ve been in that place of of depression, of feeling the darkness or the weight or oppressive nature of just life kicking your butt sometimes. And you had to find a way out of that. Yeah. And actually this is a product of that. Yeah, do you want me to tell you just a little bit about where I started? Yeah. I went through probably 10 years of darkness. Where I was so frustrated, I was in my head all the time. I was sure that my job was causing my discomfort my, you know, my frustration in life and so, I was always trying to create something new that would get me a new job. Anyway, I just always felt like it was outside of me and the more I focused on that the more miserable I became. And I was just so worked up over this. I was obsessed over. Right. Now, my wife thought I was depressed. And she really wanted me to talk to a counselor and I was embarrassed to do that. To talk to a therapist. I was embarrassed to do that because I knew that I wasn’t depressed. I was discouraged. And I felt like I had a purpose, I had a meaning to my life and yet I didn’t know how to fulfill that. And I was just so obsessed on all these things that I thought would bring me success and happiness and fulfillment and they didn’t. And so, you know when I would hear people say happiness is a choice, it was so frustrating because know I’m choosing it every day but I didn’t have the clarity to really see that. Now, one example… One story, if you don’t mind me sharing. Yeah. I’m a filmmaker by trade. And one thing that happened to me was years ago they sent me to Mongolian to film these, they were restoring sight to the blind. It was this amazing thing. And in my mind, you know, I’m seeing these doctors who are doing this cutting-edge stuff that is so cutting-edge that they can’t work on people here in the United States because the FDA approval is going to test get it cleared. Yes. And they’re going to go there, they’re going to work on them, they’re going to test it out and and figure out, you know, this new science. And so, in my mind, I’m I’m picturing these people like suddenly having their sight restored to them and what life is like and I get a capture that on film and I’m so excited. Well, 2 things happen. First of all, it did happen that they were excited and they got their eyesight restored almost like that. And I filmed these 3 old guys and they’re on this this table talking to each other. I mean, to us and they’re so excited. They’re talking over each other and there’s saying, “I could read the words. I can see this nurse.” Things they hadn’t been able to see before. But what I didn’t know is the surgery that they were doing. It was cataract removal surgery. Now, that is such a simple thing. In our country, we get our… We get cataracts removed like we get our teeth cleaned. You don’t… You go in, you get out, boom, you’re done. But for them, they didn’t know that they could have this. They didn’t know about this, the technology and so these cataracts would build up over years and everything and their eyesight would just fade to where they finally couldn’t see. Well, that is what happens to all of us mentally. Psychologically, we get these mental cataracts on our minds, on our thinking and it clouds us and unless we have somebody like Dr. Paul. Somebody outside. A coach, a friend, somebody who could see how you’re acting and behaving and see your belief systems from an outsider’s perspective and give you that clarity to help you move forward. So, I am so grateful that I found people who helped me out so that I found out that I was my own biggest problem. And once I was able to remove some of those cataracts, I’ve been working for the last four and a half years to remove more, to get more clarity and understanding and understand happiness as a skill is one of the key parts of that. And really a skill set. Yes. Yeah. So, it’s multiple skills. In fact, you’ve identified seven of those in your book. Skills that you can actually practice and develop and get into the habit of performing these skills. Might be helpful to just do a quick overview of what those seven skills are? Yeah. Are you down for that? Yeah, let’s do that. Number one is gratitude. Number one the king of all is gratitude. Now, if you if you take nothing else away from this video, except the understanding that gratitude will change your life, that is the key. Like, you can google it. You can google like happiness, research, gratitude and you will find all of these scientific studies where people who elevate their gratitude, it changes their lives. Now, I’m want o tell you one quick key point of what gratitude is. Gratitude is not thankfulness. And I got this mixed up all the time. Yeah. Because thankfulness… Help us see the difference there. Well, okay. Gratitude is recognizing you are the recipient of deliberate kindness. There’s this exchange of love, there’s this human connection. Well, I mean it doesn’t have to be human. It could be us in God, it could be us in nature. But there is a connection with others. You are the recipient of deliberate kindness. It’s an acknowledgment or an understanding that, that is your position. Yeah, yeah, you just got a free gift. A great gift of love. So there’s this exchange. Deliberately, yeah. Intentionally. So… And thankfulness, I would often turn thankfulness into a negative, actually. Because I would turn thankfulness into indebtedness to where somebody would do something nice for me. For example, I needed to move a washer/dryer set. I don’t have a truck so I borrowed a friend’s truck, and I thanked him over and over and over again. I was not grateful, I was indebted and I felt less of a man, you know… Interesting. And so, you can turn a negative or you know a positive into a negative by focus. But when you experience true gratitude, it’s a feeling and the more you can feel it, the more you could like really amplify that in your life, the more it will change you. Wow, I had to pull out your book because I’m like, “Yeah, gratitude, right there number one.” Skill number 2, “Savor the now.” Savor the now. Talk about that. Well, that is really, I mean, and all of these can be taken in multiple ways. and they’re really categories, you know, skill sets. Savor the now to me means being present. It means, being fully here, right here where we’re at. They say that if you’re stressed, you’re living in the future. If you’re depressed you’re living in the past. Yeah. If you’re happy, (It’s really true) you’re in the present. I mean, that’s kind of one example. There are so many different things that tie into that. One of my favorite parts about savor the now is forgiveness. I mean, we don’t really think of forgiveness so much as a skill. And a lot of times, it’s tied to religion or something. But really, when you forgive somebody, you let the past go. You let the healing begin and you’re able to move on and to be fully present. You can’t be fully present if you were continually obsessing over something that happened it the past. Replaying it in your mind constantly. Over and over again. Taking that venom. It is the poison through your system. So I mean, that’s just like one example. But really, (Yeah) it shows you that it can be a skill. This is something that you can work on and improve and get better at. And the more you do that, the more you take control over your life, the less you’re living in reactionary, the less you’re being tossed around because bad stuff happens all the time. Now, you’re able to choose happiness. Really understand it because it’s become a skill to you. Get to have some joy right now. Awesome. How about this next one, “Lift someone else.” Lift someone else, the service component. Now, I’m sure you’ve done something where you’ve served somebody else and you feel great about it. Well, how often do you have a really bad day and you wake up and you’re feeling horrible and then you come up with this idea, “I’m going to go serve someone else.” We typically don’t do that. It’s not the default pattern of your mind. No, no. We spiral down, we think about ourselves and we get into our little you know, shells of ourselves and it doesn’t do us any good. But if we’re able to get outside of ourselves, help lift somebody else, help serve somebody else, connect you to someone that you love. And again, there’s that exchange of love, it’s all about love. Then suddenly, you’re able to really transform things and and have that happiness it comes. We’re talking about a skill. So, you get to practice this even if it doesn’t come naturally to you and most skills don’t at first, come naturally to you. Yeah and I am definitely not a naturally any of this. And so, I’ve been working on it and when I… And I have a lot of bad mornings and I’ll wake up and I will put these into practice and I’m surprised how often they pull me out of my funk. Yeah, well let’s go to the next one here. “Don’t worry.” Don’t worry. Love it. Yeah, you know, you think of a song from what the 80’s, “Don’t worry, be happy.” Yeah. But really, and this one is kind of a mental detox skill. So, often we collect this baggage and we have the stuff that we drag around with us all the time. When we need to take some mental cleansing time and get rid of things that are holding us back there are weighing us down and don’t worry is the detox skill. And so, you can do things deliberately, intentionally to clear them. To get focused, to be in the now. But it’s it’s kind of that intention that I’m going to get rid of the toxins that are in me I’m going to figure out where I’m having these issues that are slowing me down and bringing me down. And then moving forward with it. I just had an image with this, Scott. Do you remember Tom Hanks’ “Bridge of Spies.” That movie that came out couple years. And there was a scene where the character was confronting the Russian spy that was depicted in this movie and he said you don’t seem worried. And he simply responded, “Would it help?” And he said that several times in the movie. I love that. I remember it. I can’t even remember where I heard this. It was in another movie that they said, “Well, if you worry then you suffer twice.” Potentially, yeah. And I’ve heard… There’s a quote attributed to Mark Twain. I don’t know if he actually really said it. But he said, “I’ve been through some horrible things in my life. Some of which actually happened.” Yeah. You know, but there is all this, you know, negative energy that we take on us. When we worry about stuff and it constrict us and stresses us out. And a lot of times none of that bad stuff ever actually happens. We are telling ourselves a story we are being bad fortune tellers but just forecast their doom to us. What we don’t know, we’re just predicting that. Yeah. So, you know, learning to rewrite the story. Learning to reframe things. Those are skills. Practice them over and over again. And you’ll be more in control. I love skill number 5 here too. I love all these, Scott. Me too. Foster positive relationships. I don’t know. But wouldn’t even know if we need to talk much about that one. But these relationships, notice that every problem you’re facing can be solved in a conversation or in a relationship. Because there’s people who know things that you don’t know. And if you don’t know someone who knows the answer to your problem, you probably know someone who knows someone who knows the answer to your problem. Yeah. That’s part of where my mind went. But positive relationships helped to make us more resilient and psychologically robust. Absolutely. And having that as something that you will deliberately, intentionally focus on, I mean, that’s just so key. Yeah, we take relationships for granted. And we wonder why our marriages fail, we wonder why our our kids don’t like us anymore. There’s so much we could talk about on this. And in fact, the next one, we are doing the whole other video on. And you can look for that. Because this one is improved daily. And will save some of the nuggets for that other video. You’re going to love that one. wWen this is the thing that’s been changing me the most in the last like six or nine months so. Yeah. Check that one out. Amazing and then skill number 7, “Begin again.” Yeah, what do you mean by that? You know, again, this is a classification. This can mean so many different things. It could mean you fail today. Great, tomorrow’s another day. You can begin again. It could mean you started to plateau on these skills and you know, you got pretty good at them, Well, start them again. See, if you can up level and see what else you can do to get better at it. What is the next chapter of your life? You know, it’s not over, right? You’re not done yet. Yeah. So, there’s so much that you can do to really keep moving forward but to take a deliberate choice. You know, make it a deliberate choice as you do that. Scott’s done some amazing work. And that one idea about happiness being a skill set, huge. I hope that you continue to practice by coming back every day. I’ll see you tomorrow.