Ever since I posted about the issue of control, games and unproductive life habits, I have been observing them everywhere.

Replacing ineffective patterns with more productive ones is key if you want to lead a happy life or run an attractive and successful entrepreneurial business.

While unproductive life habits disconnect and alienate us from the people around us, positive ones create attraction, charisma, connection and happiness.

As with everything, awareness is the first step in recognizing and changing the way you operate in the world. In this and the following posts I am going to address and describe some of the patterns, or games, I have observed. Maybe you recognize one or two and realize ways to change them.

Why do we play games in the first place? Well, let’s imagine you are a little kid and you are out shopping with your mom. Naturally you will ask for something, maybe a candy, an ice cream bar or a toy. It’s all right there in front of you. Maybe your mother was one to grant you all your wishes but chances are, she wasn’t. So, you ask again, and again and, depending on your nature (or role model), you’ll pout, fuzz or whine a little, anything to get her attention. Mom starts to feel bad. She wants you to stop. Just to have her peace, she buys you what you want and Wham, what started as a little tantrum in the store turns into a life long habit! From now on you’ll use this little trick to get your way. The sad part is, in the end it does not get you what you really want.

Misleading – My 9-year old daughter came home upset from school the other day: “Some kids never turn in their homework!” she said. “It’s always the same ones that ‘lose’ or ‘forget’ their assignments and I think it isn’t fair!”

Misleading is a habit that creeps in slowly and may go unnoticed for a long time. Observe yourself, do you use white lies to get your way? Do you think telling the truth will turn people off or get you into trouble? If you bend the truth here and there, have the courage to stop. It may seem outrageous or scary at the beginning but once you learn it, you will notice you can get what you want by telling the truth and asking for it.

Whining / Complaining – Ooh, don’t we all know this one? Do you like to complain about the injustices of the world?  Did life deal you a bad card and you can’t stop talking about it? This habit comes with a very distinct whiny tone of voice. If you realize that you complain a lot, start replacing it with acknowledgment, appreciation and gratitude. Instead of whining about a situation, find a way to appreciate it. Start a gratitude journal and consciously develop the habit of appreciating your life, loving what is instead of complaining about what isn’t.

Pessimism, or, Life Is No Walk in The Park – Do you have the tendency to look at life from a pessimistic point of view? Do you consider yourself a realist and find it hard to believe in good luck, ease and pleasure? If that is the case, it may be time to give yourself a break and to cheer up a bit. While life may not be fair, being hard on yourself and others does not help. If you don’t know how to be more optimistic, fake it till you make it! Be cheerful and smile, take some time to relax, engage in things that you consider ‘silly’ or ‘a waste of time’. You don’t believe this will work? It does, I tried it.

Related Books:

Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind And Your Life by Martin Seligman

The How of Happiness: A Scientific Approach to Getting the Life You Want by Sonja Lyubomirsky

Authentic Happiness:Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment by Martin Seligman

In the next post I am going to talk about quitting, spoiling the game and superman or super woman. Stay tuned and as always, let me know your observations.

As always, thank you for reading.