When Queen Elizabeth II said that “Good memories are our second chance at happiness,” she referred to thinking back to the nostalgic past, especially to the good moments of it that make us happy.
She was correct, of course. Thinking positive thoughts will make us happy, while negative thinking will have the opposite effect. As such, we can say that as long as we are thinking positively we are happy, but what about avoiding negative thoughts?
After all, National Science Foundation states that 80% of our thoughts are negative and 95% are repetitive. In other words, on average, 80% of the time we are negative, going on and on about our past hurt and traumas or anxiously thinking about the future. Not really promising, I’d say.
And yet William James states that “the greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” Too bad we don’t exercise this power enough times. Perhaps, most of us don’t know how to do it.
We are slaves to our thoughts and our memories and these take us to some dark places (80% of the time) and replay our past again and again and again (95% of the time), almost like masochists who hurt themselves because it gives them pleasure.
But we don’t like feeling bad and there is little use in living in a nostalgic past if we can create new emotions. After all, real lives happen in the present moment, and while we can say that “good memories are our second chance at happiness,” we should always push forward and live our lives to the fullest, in the present moment.
We should strive to live and enjoy life as much as the late Queen Elizabeth II did, from whom we take this wisdom and to whom we tribute this blog post and deepest regards.