Buried Treasure

focusing on the goodIn his book, “Hardwiring Happiness” author Rick Hanson explains a secret about happiness. He calls it “taking in the good,” and here’s what it means.

There are little jewels in life, opportunities to appreciate something good. Most of the time, we acknowledge those positive experiences in passing, but we keep our main focus on problems or goals for the future.

But you can hardwire the brain for happiness with one simple change.

It’s just a simple habit. You develop the habit of “taking in the good,” which means practicing the art of appreciating the small, good things that happen on a daily basis.

Here’s why it matters.

It’s not just the accumulation of positive emotions that matters. Rather, it’s the way this small habit rewires your brain for happiness. The potential for personal transformation (and enjoying your life) is tremendous!

By practicing a focus on taking in the good things in your daily life experience, the neurons of your brain literally rearrange themselves in ways that make you more aware of good events. You actually begin to get better at consciously experiencing positive emotions.

This happens because of practice. Your brain changes into a brain that is more open to experiencing positive events.

This is the essence of what differentiates a positive, optimistic person from someone who experiences life with a constant sense of bitterness and frustration.

Can this help with dating and relationships?

Of course it can! Happiness and positive energy are two variables that matter to men. And even if they didn’t, it should matter to you!

Develop the daily habit of “taking in the good.” You’ll never regret it.

I repeatedly return to the following concept in my messages to you. “Small changes compound over time to bring about incredible results.”

I also repeatedly remind you that happiness is something you can develop in yourself, and it’s something that has a tremendously positive impact on all of your relationships.

focusing on the goodTaking in the good is a daily practice that involves purposeful meditation on the small positive things that happen to you. It could be something as simple as the good taste of your coffee in the morning. It could be the purposeful and conscious choice to delight in the sunshine as you drive to work.

Practice taking in the good. Appreciate even the small things. Gradually, this will hardwire your brain in a way that makes happiness come more naturally.

Your friend and ally,


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19 thoughts on “Buried Treasure

  1. Kelley said:

    Sincere thanks for your efforts; you make a difference. Just a quick affirmation of this article. I’ve always been a happy, grateful person. I was recently promoted. An old-coworker sought me out to tell me the team missed my “sunshine” and that it was literally darker since I left. Gave me tears to know I made a difference. It works! Blessings & wishes for your continued success!

  2. nims said:

    thats so true, n thoughtful, actualy we appreciate sometimes the good things just for moment but forget to swim in it and experience it at that moment. swim in each good moment of life and the water of happiness will flow all the time. 🙂

  3. Campbell Sara said:

    James, beautiful insight. I am starting this practice right now! Thanks so much! Sara

  4. LINDA said:

    Thanks I needed that!!!

  5. Barbara said:

    Good Morning James,
    I love all your good informative advice, but this one is the best for me. I can truly say it works. I dated a man from out of state for about 1 1/2 years and looked forward to spending quality time with him. He was always happy, upbeat and rarely had a negative attitude. I found this attitude toward life very refreshing and very helpful.

    I use to find too much negative in life. I now work on all the positives in my life. Some small and some big, but they all help to make you feel happy if you work on it. Thank you again.

    • James Bauer said:

      I appreciate that, Barbara. Thanks for encouraging me. And thank you for putting that principle to work in your life. It is truly a beautiful thing.

    • Lena said:

      Hi Barbara,
      I am interested in your dating experience of LDR for so long. Did it improve over the time, and you guys got closer to each other? What did keep both of you so long together in the long distance? How is it now, may I ask you?

  6. Kerin said:

    You are so awesome James! Thank you so much!

  7. Ruth said:

    Thank you so much, you taught me well to appreciate even a small thing. I wil keep that in mind

  8. Wonderful! God wants us to do this everyday its in the bible: but its never bad to hear again. This reminds me of a teacher who used to use the GI Joe saying to the children that said” the choice is yours” it would always make me think positive and powerful thinking and motivated me to do good.

  9. Tina said:

    Good morning James, This practice of taking in the small experiences is what I call living in the moment. Like a child who’s senses are open and the world is full of wonder and beauty. Living like this can take you away from negative, stressful lifes that can impact on you in health and your mental emotional being. The ‘law of attraction’ responds well to those who are more grateful to those that see, appreciate and enjoy life. Starting the day watching the sun rise putting on a different display is my way I like to strart the day, yesterdays challenges washed away and a new way of approaching them often emerges. Life becomes more richer with this way of thinking. I don’t mind being single at the moment until the right man comes along, my life is not being wasted. Tina

    • Nancy Hill said:

      Tina… You are wise beyond your years. My best to you. Nancy

  10. Ayanna said:

    James, You’re such a blessing to the lives of others’! God bless and keep you always!

  11. Thank You for this message, I was having a very bad day, even wanting to live but this made me see that even if the day goes bad to think positive and enjoy even the smallest of things. I looked back at the day and I had lots of things to be happy with. Dee

  12. Debbie said:

    LOVE this one, James!! Thank you!

  13. Celia said:

    I love the idea of focusing on self and not obsessing over a guy!

    • Susan Lowe said:

      taken me 51 years to learn this finding this whole experiance very rewarding

  14. Rysing Wolf said:

    I love getting your emails. They continually inspire me.thankyou!

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