Dr. Tip

October 15, 2018

Why do people and businesses want a place in New York City? Brussels? Los Angeles? Hong Kong? Boston? Beijing? Washington, DC? Paris? Chicago? Tokyo? London? Singapore? Sydney? Or Toronto?

These are important cities. And people want to be important. They want to feel important.

Here's what's interesting: a place in NY may communicate value and prestige, things associated with happiness and success, but wealthy people who live in these cities are less happy on average than general people anywhere else in North America according to a Harvard Medical School study published in 2014. Why? 

The Harvard study speculates but doesn't draw any conclusions except to prove that things are not always what they seem. Nevertheless, I think I know the answer. The reason circumstances are not a reliable predictor of happiness is that our attitude is much more critical.  Victor Frankel's perspective when the Nazis imprisoned him in Auschwitz made him happier than ninety-eight percent of the other people there, including the Nazi guards and masters. I paraphrase Frankel: "The Nazis killed my entire family and robbed us of everything we had worked for over twenty years. But I understood something they did not: they could abuse me, torture me, or even kill me, but they couldn't take away my attitude of happiness unless I allowed it.

Our response to circumstances predicts about ninety percent of our happiness in life rather than the details!

And this is the reason why we need to remember to help people feel valued. Feel important.

There's one way everyone can do this: Give others sincere appreciation. Give is the operative word. We can give sincere appreciation in five concrete ways: Donate. Recognize. Thank. Inspire. Praise. The acronym I'll offer today to help you remember is, "Dr. Tip."Thank you for reading my brief encouragement today. Make your day a great experience.

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