The Happiness Connection  

Trump make you happy?

Does Donald Trump make you happy?

Reading that statement probably creates an emotional response in you. It doesn’t matter what the response is, most people have opinions and feelings when it comes to Trump.

Let me assure you, this article isn’t about the 45th American president, nor is it a political pitch. 

Personally, I have difficulty respecting his attitudes and opinions, but I see something good coming from his appearance on the world’s stage. He is serving a purpose that he and much of the world is probably unaware of.

Donald Trump is an interrupter.

If you are a regular reader of this column, you might remember when I wrote about falling and breaking my beautiful, purple Versace sunglasses. If not, let me give you a quick recap.

I was in deep thought as I walked the familiar route to my parent’s house. I was paying little if no attention to my surroundings, until I caught the toe of my shoe on an uneven piece of pavement. As if in slow motion, I watched the sidewalk move closer and closer to my face.

It only took a split second for me to be shifted away from my thoughts and back into the moment. I was instantly aware of the blood dripping down my face and the state of my sunglasses. 

My fall was an interrupter.

So many of the things you do regularly, stop needing your full attention as they become engrained habits. Without consciously choosing to be mindful, you may find yourself moving through your day on autopilot. 

It happens to all of us and can be helpful when you are involved in a mindless task. The problem comes if you live too much of your life on autopilot.

A great example of this unconscious living is travelling a route you take regularly, like to and from work.

Have you ever pulled into your driveway without any memory of getting there? If you ride the bus, have you ever suddenly realized you should have gotten off three stops earlier? 

Perhaps you’ve found yourself driving towards your work place when you intended to go to Costco. Both destinations require you to go in the same direction initially, and without conscious thought you slipped into the route that was habitual.

When your mind stops being aware of your surroundings, you may experience an interrupter. Something that grabs your attention and pulls you back into the present serves this purpose. It can be something minor, or something huge.

The benefit of being shifted out of autopilot probably has to do with your drive to survive. In more primitive times, if you weren’t paying attention you were in danger of being sprung upon by a predator.

This may explain why research continues to support mindfulness as a skill that increases happiness. Your brain rewards you for a behavior that benefits your survival.

I’m not a political person, although I am a regular voter. When it comes to the politics of our southern neighbours, it is easy for me to tune out.

For the first time ever, I took a real interest in the last American election. Surely someone like Trump would never become the head of state. The presidential race had suddenly become reality TV. 

Donald Trump running for president was something different and it grabbed the attention of many people like me. Now that he is in power, his words and actions continue to captivate. Both positive and negative feelings can capture your attention in an equally powerful way. 

Whether you love him or hate him, Trump is an interrupter in the world. This conscious awakening has caused people to re-examine their values and beliefs. In my books, that is a good thing.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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