The Happiness Connection

The other day my friend and website designer asked me what I meant by connection.  It was a good question.    For me it means parents and children, family, and friends, creating respectful, caring relationships that benefit everyone often for the rest of their lives.  Today I read a story that James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, shared.  It and the accompanying explanation by Desmond Tutu expands on what I mean by connection: 1 + 1  > 2 or the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, in other words  synergy.  A healthy relationship between a parent and child is more than just the connection they share. It becomes a source of strength, resilience, and optimism. It helps a child develop trust and compassion and prepares them for life-long success. As the following story illustrates, connection among friends develops compassion and happiness. “There was an anthropologist who had been studying the habits and culture of a remote African tribe. He had been working in the village for quite some time and the day before he was to return home, he put together a gift basket filled with delicious fruits from around the region and wrapped it in a ribbon. He placed the basket under a tree and then he gathered up the children in the village. The man drew a line in the dirt, looked at the children, and said, “When I tell you to start, run to the tree and whoever gets there first will win the basket of the fruit.” When he told them to run, they all took each other’s hands and ran together to the tree. Then they sat together around the basket and enjoyed their treat as a group. The anthropologist was shocked. He asked why they would all go together when one of them could have won all the fruits for…

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Fall in Love with the Process of Attachment

James Clear in Atomic Habits writes about falling in love with the process of achieving your goal instead of the goal itself.  If you are always waiting to achieve the goal to be happy, that may never happen, but if you enjoy the journey along the way, the process becomes the focus.  It is in the process you succeed or fail.   For example you can have the goal of being a musician.  The goal doesn’t make it happen.  It is the daily practice, the process, that makes it happen. Don’t’ get me wrong.  Goals are important.  They tell you which way to go.  Otherwise you would be like Alice in “Alice in Wonderland,” taking to the Cheshire cat:“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to. Alice: I don't much care where. The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go. Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere. The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.” Changing the process is answer to correcting the problem permanently.  For example, you want a clean car, so you wash it everyday.  But everyday you drive through a mud puddle on your way to work.  Washing your car daily achieves your goal temporarily, but if you always want a clean car you need to steer around the mud instead of through it.  Clear explains, “When you solve problems at the results level, you only solve them temporarily.  In order to improve for good, you need to solve problems at the systems level.  Fix the inputs and the outputs will fix themselves.” Great advice, but what does it have to do with parents, children and attachment.   Parents want children to become happy, confident, self-reliant, successful…

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