Live with Virtue

I have felt a need lately to feel inspired. Every day I wake up, go through my daily routine, go to work, sit at a desk doing mundane work just to keep the money coming in. I go home eat some food, interact with the Captain for a few short moments before I'm too tired to keep my eyes open, crawl into bed to sleep and do it all again the next day. Auto pilot has taken over.

My spiritual life has been neglected and I am almost desperately trying to fill my life back up with positive messaging.So what do I do? I sign up for email newsletters from wellness professionals and come up with lists of things I should do, like mediate more, move more, eat more veggies and less crap, accentuate the positive and minimize the negative. Translation: be more diligent in my obedience to gospel principles.

In my inbox this morning, I had a note from a philosopher, Brian Johnson (who is, mind you, an exceptional person and positive thinker, lover of wisdom, but still from the secular) about Positive Psychology.

Near the end of my masters program in Family Therapy, several of my classmates got really excited about a relatively new movement called Positive Psychology. The founders, Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi started on a quest to find identify the science behind happiness. To most of you the results from the foundational research will not come as any surprise.

Brian's note:

"Guess where they started.

"They went Old School—sifting through all the classic wisdom texts where they saw the same ideas repeated again and again. Although they differ on the details, these classics (from the Bible to the The Bhagavad Gita to the Bushido samurai code) say the same thing: Live with virtue.

"In fact, the researchers identified a constellation of six core virtues: wisdom, courage, love, justice, temperance and spirituality. They set out to *scientifically* establish that, when we put these virtues in action, we’ll live with more happiness, meaning and mojo.

"The equation is simple: Happiness = Virtues in Action (VIA)."

See what I mean by not surprised? Sounds a little familiar, right?

"Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven." ( Doctrine & Covenants 121:45

I love finding truth out there. And I love being reminded of fundamentals that I have known my whole life.

Brian's conclusion: "As Martin Seligman, the author of Authentic Happiness and the Godfather of the Positive Psychology movement tells us, one of the keys to happiness is simple: Use your strengths often. Do so in service to something bigger than yourself and you’ll be blessed with abundant happiness and a life filled with meaning and all that goodness to boot."

The first step to using your strengths often is figuring out what your strengths are. And then remember to use them to building something bigger than yourself. 

To revisit the my self-prescribed cure for auto-pilot, meditation (aka: pondering), movement, veggies and elevating my thoughts...Translation: be more diligent in my obedience to gospel principles.

Happiness = Virtues in Action = Obedience. Period.

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