Making your life better doesn’t have to be about making big decisions or major changes. Instead, it’s something you can constantly work on—and it typically comes down to what we do every day.
Advancing your life has its foundations in the way you feel when you achieve; when you accomplish something no matter how big or small.
It’s scientifically proven that when we achieve it does some astonishing things to our brain and mental outlook through the release of the chemical ‘dopamine’.
Thanks to neuroscience and pharmacology, we now understand that dopamine plays a big part in generating motivation.
It’s a so-called messenger substance or neurotransmitter and is commonly referred to as the ‘happy hormone’. It is responsible for us feeling happy and experiencing happiness and we can use it to our advantage to better our lives.
We often take our day-to-day achievements for granted. We don’t give ourselves credit for the small things and that’s vital.
Yes, having big goals - the Mount Everest type achievements are important - but if you are to climb Everest you first have to negotiate the foot hills to get to base camp.
In other words, you’ve got to take small, incremental steps along the way, and we need to make sure we celebrate these achievements as we go.
Each time we reach a milestone, no matter how small, the natural release of the motivational dopamine chemical will propel our behavior toward attaining more success.
Recognising and celebrating your individual achievements can get you really motivated through this natural neurological happening.
An example in my own life occurred when I came out of intensive care in Queensland after my accident and the nursing staff started trying to get me up during the day.
I had been lying down in bed for over 20 days and my body was still dealing from the spinal shock and being motionless. Each time the staff would try to sit me up, but even at a five-degree angle I would pass out because my body was just not used to being partly upright. I wasn’t even lasting two seconds.
It became a real challenge. My aim each day was to beat the previous day’s record.
Each step was a small one but by celebrating my wins I had, unknowingly, started off the dopamine chemical process. It became a remarkable and very natural addiction.
Unwittingly, I was able to put neuroplasticity to work to rewire the way my brain rationed out dopamine.
When you start to look at ways of trying to get the best out of any adversity and you celebrate even the smallest of achievements, the natural effect of dopamine makes the accomplishments that much sweeter.
Key things to remember: Acknowledging your everyday accomplishments will give you a greater sense of wellbeing, a sense of contentment. Celebrate your achievements no matter how small.