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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Be Do Have

“You have to be before you can do and do before you can have”

– Zig Ziglar


I hear so many people say – When I have A, then I can do B, and then I’ll be C . . .

For example – When I have more money, then I can travel, and then I’ll be happy. Or When I have more time, then I can exercise and feel healthy, then I’ll be happy. Or When I have a boyfriend, then I’ll go dancing, and then I’ll be happy.  (Note the Be Happy is usually the end result desired.)

But as Zig Ziglar points out, the best way to get what you want is to BE what you want first!  In other words Be Happy NOW!  In the award winning movie, HAPPY, director Roko Belic travelled around the world and asked people – What do you want most in life?  And the ultimate answer from everyone they interviewed in every part of the world was that they wanted to be happy. Simple as that.

Laurence Boldt explains the phenomena well in his best selling book, How to Be Do or Have Anything.

It’s an easy thing to say, but not as easy to embrace.  Gretchen Rubin is working hard to help people start living a happier life with her Happiness Project. 

One of the things Ms. Rubin recommends is making your own Twelve Personal Commandments.

One of the most challenging—and most helpful and fun—tasks that I’ve done as part of my Happiness Project is to write my Twelve Personal Commandments. These aren’t specific resolutions, like make my bed, but the overarching principles by which I try to live my life.

After reading quite a bit by Ms. Rubin, I made my own Twelve Personal Commandments.  I’d like to share them with you:

My Twelve Commandments

1. I AM (Intention Attention Memory) Everyday

2. To Thine Own Self Be True

3. Golden Rule – Be the way to others that you want them to be to you

4. I Will Act Now

5. Be Love in every way

6. Pay Attention!

7. Pay it forward

8. Be the change you want to see in the world

9. Be Happy Now

10. There is only Now

11. How do I want to be remembered?

12. Enthusiasm for Life!

I encourage you to make your own.  They help me keep important personal principals in my consciousness.

I’d like to close with a beautiful TED Talk by Matthiew Ricard, called The Habits of Happiness.

I’d love to hear about what makes you happy.  And if you decided to make your own 12 Commandments, I’d love to hear about them.  And as always, thank you for stopping by, I appreciate it.