Have you ever found yourself wanting to feel more loved, valued, connected or at peace with a spouse, friend, child, or colleague? What do most people do in that situation?Most people ask (or want) the other person to be different. In other words, they look for ways to feel better by getting someone else to give them more love in the form of respect, kindness, or appreciation. Sure it’s easier to love someone who’s nice to you, and yet when you ask others to be different, you actually give away your power. You allow their behavior to determine how happy you will be.
What do happier people do? Instead of searching for how to bring love in, they find reasons to let love flow out.
The Power of Love
When you stop waiting for others to love you and start finding reasons to love them, you are back in your own center of power. Now you control your ability to feel more at peace, more connected, and, ironically, more loved from within.
The power of love is more than just personal happiness (as if that’s not enough). Love grows your business, makes you more productive, and helps you live a longer, healthier life. What’s not to love?
Consider what a renowned psychiatrist and a growth entrepreneur have to say.
After studying two groups of men for more than 60 years, psychiatrist and researcher Dr. George Vaillant learned that love is the most powerful factor in a successful life. Where you went to college is not.
Similarly, “You’ve got to love your customers. You’ve got to love your products. You’ve got to love your employees. You’ve got to love the industry,” says entrepreneur, Mark Sellew, when asked the secret to his company’s 32-year growth record.
More Love in 5 Minutes a Day
In a desire to cause more love to flow and in honor of Valentine’s Day, I started a Love Week, a week of finding reasons to let even more love flow. Each Day focuses on someone/something to love, priming us with a Love Note, Love Song, and Love Question of the Day. Today is Day 5, although you can start anywhere. Today could be your Day 1.
Love Week Focus Areas
- Day 1: Kids
- Day 2: Customers
- Day 3: Life’s little luxuries,
- Day 4: People who work for you
- Day 5: Sweetheart or Significant Someone
- Days 6 and 7: still to come. Click on Day 5 and then the Next Post link at the bottom.
In a world that emphasizes being smart, sophisticated, and skeptical, it helps to take time to experience what Martin Seligman and Chris Peterson call strengths of the heart. In their research, they’ve found these, including love, to be “more robustly associated with life satisfaction than are the more cerebral strengths…” Even meditating with the intent to create loving kindness for others makes you happier, according to several researchers, including Barbara Fredrickson and Kristin Neff.
What could a Love Week do for you and those you care about?
Duvivier, C. (2013). Best-Loved Love Notes to My Child… What I’d Say if You Wouldn’t Roll Your Eyes.
Fredrickson, B. L., Cohn, M. A., Coffey, K. A., Pek, J. & Finkel, S. M. (2008). Open hearts build lives: Positive emotions, induced through loving-kindness meditation, build consequential personal resources. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95(5), 1045-1062. doi: 10.1037/a0013262
Mack, R. (2014). Love from the Inside Out: The Guide to Turn You On, Turn You In, and Turn You Up. Living World Press.
Neff, K. D. (2011). Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind. New York: HarperCollins.
Seligman, M. E. P., Steen, T. A., Park, N. & Peterson, C. (2005). Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions. American Psychologist, 60(5), 410-421. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.60.5.410.
Vaillant, G. (2013). What are the secrets to a happy life? Greater Good.
Vaillant, G. (2012). Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press.
Vaillant, G. (2009). Yes, I stand by my words: Happiness equals love, full stop. Positive Psychology News.
Vaillant, G. (2003). Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development. New York: Little Brown.
You can’t control what anyone thinks. Copyrighted 2013 by Christine Duvivier and used with permission. From her eBook Best-Loved Love Notes to My Child… What I’d Say if You Wouldn’t Roll Your Eyes. Photographer Catherine Rulli.
Birds Taking Flight. Used with permission from photographer Beth Shedd. Copyright Beth Shedd 2013.