Happiness – At least 40% is up to YOU!

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today.  I can choose which it shall be.  Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet.  I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

― Groucho Marx


HAPPY – The Movie tells us in no uncertain terms that Happiness is within our grasp.

While 50% of our level of happiness is genetic, only 10% is attributed to circumstances (like income, health or the number of shoes in our closet).  The other 40% is up to us:  what we do, how we think and our intentions to be happy.

HAPPY is uplifting and insightful.  It asserts that we can actually re-wire our brains, altering its structure and function, by engaging in some simple activities.  And that happiness is a choice that everyone can make, everyday.  The movie outlines several ways to be happier:

  • Simple Meditation Practices (*see info below about the Compassion Meditation)
  • Physical activity, especially that which gets us “in the flow” and unaware of our surroundings, can contribute to chronic happiness
  • Other activities which get us “in the flow” – like playing music, doing something we love
  • Being of service
  • Community, being with friends, and of course, Love

This information is consistent with Martin Seligman’s findings:

Seligman’s Five Elements of Well-Being (PERMA):

  • Positive Emotions (P) – Feeling positive emotions such as joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration, awe and love.
  • Engagement (E) – Being fully absorbed in activities that use your skills and challenge you. (Flow)
  • Relationships (R) – Having positive relationships is a universal requirement to well-being. (Community)
  • Meaning (M) – Belonging to and serving something you believe is bigger than yourself. (Service and Helping others)
  • Accomplishment (A) – Pursuing success, winning, achievement and mastery for their own sake. (Gratitude)

The Center for Investigating Healthy Minds (CIHM) is doing ground-breaking work on the subject of Meditation and Happiness.  One of the people interviewed in the movie is Dr. Richard Davidson:

Richard J. Davidson, PhD, is a renowned neuroscientist and one of the world’s leading experts on the impact of contemplative practices, such as meditation, on the brain. He is the founder and chair of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He is perhaps best known for his groundbreaking work in studying emotion and the brain. A friend and confidante of the Dalai Lama, he is a highly sought after expert and speaker internationally. Time magazine named him one of the most influential people in the world.

The same meditation practice used in these studies is offered by CIHM online, free of charge. So it’s even easier to choose happiness!

If you haven’t seen the movie, please take the time to watch it. In my opinion, it is nothing less than life-altering!

 


 

Please let me know if you’ve seen HAPPY, and if so, what you thought of it.  And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.

 

 

 

 

 

Creating Creative Confidence

“Everybody has creative potential and from the moment you can express this creative potential, you can start changing the world.”

― Paulo Coelho


Why are so many people so afraid of the idea of creativity?

In our Creative Empowerment workshops, one of the most common things we hear from people is that they are not creative, not one of “those” creative types. And this is often said with a look of terror in their eyes. What is it about creativity that is so frightening?

Perhaps it’s the idea that to be creative is to relinquish control.
I agree with Matisse – Creativity takes courage. 
As Pablo Picasso points out – The chief enemy of creativity is good sense. We are all told consistently to hold on to our good sense. To allow oneself to put aside that part of us that is in control, that is logical and rational is a scary thought.  But Einstein explained:
“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking.”

For those of us who have worked so hard to keep everything ordered and in control, the thought of relinquishing this control is scary.  But I love the image created by Lady Gaga about letting go to access one’s creative spark.

“When you make music or write or create, it’s really your job to have mind-blowing, irresponsible, condomless sex with whatever idea it is you’re writing about at the time. ”

The reality is that we are ALL born creative!  Yes some of us are more artistic than others, or more talented in certain areas.  But all of us are creative.  The sad truth is that many of us have been shamed out of even trying to access our creative spark.  Some of us have even been taught out of our creativity. Sir Ken Robinson explains this beautifully in his numerous TED Talks!

One man has made it his life’s work to help others build their creative confidence.  David Kelly, of IDEO, explains how people lose their creative confidence and how he and others are working to help people regain that confidence.  Please take ten minutes to watch this inspiring TED Talk. It helps to reminds us that we are all creative, every one of us.

 

 

Please let me know what you think David Kelley’s talk.  And I’d love to hear how you build your creative confidence.

And as always thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.