Keep Focused, Stay Happy

stay focused to stay happyWe’re constantly being exhorted to be mindful, be in the moment, be here now! For some of us, bringing our complete attention to the present experience can seem like a luxury as we simultaneously text, email, and file, all while scarfing a protein bar at our desk. Plus, it’s natural for our minds to time-travel, as we ruminate over past events or make plans for the future. Sure it’s important to reflect on where we’ve been and create a blueprint for where we want to go. But science is proving that a wandering mind is an unhappy mind.

Researcher Matt Killingsworth, who studies the nature and causes of human happiness, found that staying in the moment truly does lead to greater contentment. Makes sense to me, if the moment I’m staying in involves reclining on a beach chair with a good book and a tropical drink. But he found that even when doing the most mundane tasks, like commuting, we’re happier when we stay focused on the present moment. He also found that mind-wandering causes unhappiness, not the other way around. In other words, unhappiness does not precede mind-wandering.

So next time you catch your mind time-traveling, draw your awareness back to the present, fully engaging in whatever you’re doing. Hopefully, it involves a beautiful beach, engrossing read and refreshing drink.


Step into the Truth Booth, improve your life, and laugh along the way with funny motivational speaker Colette Carlson. How did she go from emotional coward and the Pizza Delivery’s favorite customer to #1 sales producer for sales legend Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy, featured in Success Magazine, a 50 lb. weight loss, and inspiring audiences at Microsoft, Accenture, Pepsi, Boeing, and organizations worldwide? Visit her at or call 760-230-1212.

Colette founded Speak Your Truth, Inc. to share her success systems and inspire others to Think It! Speak It! Live It! Her tools and takeaways create authentic, long-lasting change in every aspect of your life. With a MA in human behavior, a successful business and 2 teenage daughters, Colette provides a unique combination of education, research, real-life experience, and heartfelt humor to motivate you with her high content programs. Improve your Communication Skills, Work-Life Balance, Sales, Leadership, Assertiveness, Negotiation…all wrapped in the genuine power of Speaking Your Truth.

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  1. Hmmmmm. Okay I'll buy it. I do think it's true that I have a greater sense of peace when I'm focusing solely on what is before me. AND – I also feel that my creativity and my very best ideas come right out of some serious mind wandering. So maybe there's room for both? Maybe it has to do with setting an intention that is conscious rather than by default. Some good stuff to think about here for sure, Colette!

  2. Holy moley this is timely, Colette!!  Two days ago my mind was wandering into my next days tasks when I was behind the wheel and for the first time in my life (that I know of) I started driving through a red light and was nearly T-boned!! Staying present means staying alive and that makes me VERY happy!

  3. Oooooh, this will be a tough one. I am ALWAYS thinking about a million things at once. Except when I'm on stage – I'm pretty good at being in the moment there. And shopping. i can be uber focused when I shop.  :)

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