Setting Good Directions

The feeling of being successful is knowing where you want to go and being prepared to put in whatever work necessary, to get to where you want to be.  You realise that you need to practice and practice and practice your skill.  When you make a mistake or fall short of your goal, you don’t complain, you simply shrug it off and do it again until you get it right.  

You know what your idea of perfection looks like.  You can see it being done perfectly and you place yourself inside your picture carrying out the action.  When you don’t get it right, you don’t feel bad, you simply don’t feel anything.  You are determined to build an addiction to trying, to get hooked on a good feeling.  Even if you only get it right one out of ten times, that good feeling when it arrives makes it worthwhile.  By contrast, some of us just feel bad whenever what we decide should happen, does not work out that way.

Unlike the failure-punishment approach to learning, attaching a good feeling to action builds a feed-forward loop.  This good feeling loop gets people to improve their activity based on feeling better and better.  With this strategy, people don’t mind not getting it right the first time or even the fourth time, because they know how good it will feel when it does work out.  We are all playing games of some kind or another.  

We play games all the time in relationships, parenting and in recreation, so we might as well learn to play them to the best of our ability.  If you try to get through life by avoiding discomfort or pain you are walking backwards.  Set your sights on that something you want, know which direction you want to go and move through the discomfort to grab it.

Setting good directions is like building choices and getting on with the process of living.  You cannot just be happy.  You need to pay attention to and enjoy the process of doing whatever it is you happen to be doing.  It is not just that something goes "bing and suddenly happiness appears.  Learn to be happy by following the old adage about stopping to smell the roses.  Enjoy looking at life, touching life, walking with life and everything else about life.  Just enjoy everything from sleeping, waking up, making breakfast and going to work.  The more things you make pleasant, the happier life will be for you. 
Everyone can learn to behave differently to some degree or other and everyone can learn to create good feelings.  Planning it takes a little time but it is time well spent.  The first step is always to build choices so that you do not become stuck with only one response.  This is more than making the right choice or doing the right thing hoping that it will make you feel good.  We often know what we ought to do and how we ought to feel and not doing that makes us feel terrible.  This usually occurs when we lack the flexibility to plan ahead with setting good directions.