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Happiness is in our powerI’ve been wondering about the components of happiness and how one can be even happier. Like everyone else, there are days when I don’t feel happy; now I realize it’s because I’m not emerged in my passions. When I’m feeling passionate and energized, it’s because I’m doing things that I know cause a change. My passion is learning and education and sharing that with the world.

So what is the 20-second rule? According to author Shawn Achor, we need to make tiny energy adjustments.  He says that by making small energy adjustments, we can reroute the path of least resistance and replace bad habits with good ones.  Consider that you check your Facebook page once an hour, and you know you really don’t think it’s a valid idea. Shawn would say to take the Facebook icon off your computer so that you have to go to the Internet and log in. Since this takes up more time, you will be less likely to log on as many times.

The key is to rearrange things, so they are ‘inconvenient’ and take more than 20 seconds to do. Don’t want to watch TV as much? Move the television to a place that is impossible to reach with the remote unless you have to stand up and walk to it.

We may know what we want to do in life, but we just don’t do it. Basically, we are composed of habits; almost everything we do is an engrained     habit. When we get up, how we get ready, what we eat and when we eat. The only way things will changes is if we break those habits and replace them with others. How many treadmills have been changed into clothing racks despite all the good intentions?

Consider habits as financial capital—forming one today is an investment that will give returns years down the road.  It’s not about willpower. Trying not to eat the cookies just makes us tired. Instead, we finally break down and take the path of least resistance and eat them all. We like things that are easy. Why go out and ride your bike when you can watch television? I thought I was crazy sleeping in my exercise clothes but it sure makes it easy to get to a six AM class at the gym.

One tip, make what you want to do easy to get. Make what you’re doing now, harder.

Lock up the frig and give your next door neighbor the combination with instructions on when it’s to be opened.  Sure it sounds crazy but will you call him every time you need a snack?

By adding this 20 seconds a day to your life, you will probably gain hours. Get rid of the short cuts that keep you connected to things you want to change. Instead, build new habits.

Is t worth it? You be the judge.

Lisbeth helps businesses build pattern changes that will help them be more successful. She does this through customer service training and social media marketing. She can be reached through her web site:

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