A cure for the Blue Monday blues

Last July, I listened to and wrote a post about a humorous and helpful presentation on happiness by Dr. Srikumar Rao, a professor at Columbia University. Rao is a well-regarded speaker and the author of “Happiness at Work: Be Resilient, Motivated, and Successful – No Matter What” among other books, but what really impressed me is Rao exudes happiness.

I thought today, “Blue Monday 2011”, might be a good day to update and share that post again. 

In Rao’s presentation, he explains that most of us are using the:

 If . . . then” model, which means we are constantly telling ourselves, if this happens then I will be happy. 

If I  . . . 

  • pay my bills,
  • lose weight,
  • fly to a warmer climate,
  • move to  a warmer climate,
  • start running,
  • stop smoking,
  • start budgeting,
  • find a job,
  • quit my job,
  • get married,
  • buy a house
  • have kids,
  • get divorced,
  • start over,
  • etc.

. . . then I will be happy.

Life can be a never-ending series of “ifs” – if we let it – and could then turn out to be a never-ending series of delays and disappointments – if we let it.

Rao suggests that instead of putting all our eggs in the outcome basket, we put them in the process basket. Meaning, we set goals, but don’t delay gratification, appreciation and happiness until, or if they are reached.

Plan ahead, but seize the day – and fill it with happiness. I like that. 

Okay, it’s time to cure your Blue Monday blues. Start with this happy little guy, and then watch Rao’s 17 minute talk

If you are in a hurry, listening to the first 9 minutes of his talk will improve your outlook (it starts a little slow – hang in there – at 7 minutes he shares a memorable example that will make you LOL and can be a great help in the future). 

Listening to the last 8 minutes could change your life, if you let it.


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