This interactive video is at once intellectually stimulating and funny.
What makes us happy? Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert, whose book “Stumbling on Happiness” is a bestseller says that our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong
Definitely some compelling information on the subject, some of which may challenge your beliefs!
Winning or losing, finding a life partner, getting or not getting a promotion, even winning the lottery… all these factors have far less impact on our happiness than we think.
Happiness is synthesized, it is not something to be found… We are the only human species with a well-developed frontal lobe – the prefrontal cortex – which allows us to orchestrate thoughts and actions with our internal goals. In simpler terms this part of our brains allows us to act in accordance with our intentions. We can’t control our thoughts but we can control our actions.
We can train our brain to find happiness within each and every one of our days and the 21 days challenge to quit complaining is an amazing game to play with yourself!
Gilbert talks about unbounded fears and ambitions. The prefrontal cortex gives us the capacity to inhibit these elements in our lives and to accept and make the most of the things that are ultimately out of our control. He even claims that freedom to choose is the enemy of synthetic happiness!
This reminds me of the sentence “please grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change” which stems from the well-known prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr used in twelve steps programs. Most of our happiness comes from making the best of our situations in life. Abraham Lincoln famously wrote: “We are as happy as we make up our minds to be”!
Can we believe that not getting what we want can make us as happy as getting it? Gilbert gives some great examples of people who in hindsight found that they were happier than if they had gotten what they thought they wanted.
What do you think?
“Christine Lewicki is a Bestselling Author, Speaker & Coach. She is committed to helping people quit complaining and become entrepreneurs of their lives. You can download your FREE “I quit complaining” starter kit on her blog www.iquitcomplaining.com and visit her Facebook page for inspirational articles and quotes to reveal the best version of yourself each day!