How much is enough?

“Materialism can negatively influence well-being.”

- Ed Diener and Martin Seligman


We often get lost in the Myth of More - believing that “more” will make us happier – more clothes, more wine, more food, more money, more stuff!

In my post Finding Joy,  Michael Norton describes that people believe that the prospect of possessing things will make them happy.

http://patticlark.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/finding-joy/

But Diener and Seligman, leaders in Positive Psychology argue that from an economic point of view, materialism can actually negatively influence well-being.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2007/10/14/why-money-doesn-t-buy-happiness.html

And even when a business magazine  The Business Insider explored what will make you happy, more stuff was not on the list:

http://www.businessinsider.com/things-that-make-you-happier-2011-1#

So how much is enough?  In many articles, including this one on Zen Habits, it is argued that we already have enough now.

http://zenhabits.net/key-question-how-much-is-enough/

So instead of more stuff, most psychologists and even some economists are suggesting a change in attitude.

This wonderful video illustrates our rediculous attraction to more stuff and the damage it is doing to us and to our planet.

It is appropriately called The Story of Stuff.

 

Please let me know what you thought of The Story of Stuff.

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

Life’s too short not to be happy!

“Life’s too short not to be happy!”

- Dr. Timothy Sharp


On The Happiness Institute, one of my favorite websites:

http://thehappinessinstitute.com/

Dr. Timothy Sharp (AKA Dr. Happy) told a story about a friend of his who died suddenly:

Happiness is…telling someone you love them, before it’s too late!

Just over one year ago a very good friend of mine died. He was only 42 years old, stepped out on to a road without looking, and then he wasn’t with us any more.

Just a month or so ago, on the anniversary of his death, quite a few friends were reminded of our loss and quite a few emails and messages and conversations were sent and had about how much we missed our good old friend and about what a fine chap he was.

It was nice in many ways, to remember our dear lost friend, and nice, also, to hear so many positive words spoken about Sam.

And I don’t want, in any way, to detract from what was done and said in those days by many of my good friends and, by me, but I do want to pick up on one element of the occassion that made me feel just a touch uncomfortable…

…I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if we’d said these things to our dear friend while he was alive!

Rather than delivering a eulogy at his funeral, rather than saying so many wonderful things to each other a year after his death, rather than…what if we’d all expressed our love and admiration and respect and liking for Sam while he was still alive?

Surely this would have been good for all of us?

So I did just that; unfortunately, it was too late to tell Sam but thankfully, it was not too late to tell a few other friends, and my wife and children. And thankfully it’s not too late to tell others in my family and social network which is exactly what I intend to do more of and…

…what I invite you all to do!

Tell someone you love them…go on, do it now! 

 

Reading this is especially poignant to me today as I just found out that an old friend died yesterday.  I hadn’t spoken to her in a few years, but I liked her a lot.  She was funny and caring and generous.  She made me laugh when I was with her and really listened to me when I spoke.  But I never told her how much I appreciated her; how much I appreciated the fact that I really felt heard by her when I spoke, how much I appreciated the laughter we shared.

Today I plan to tell several people that I love them.  Now before it’s too late.

I want to post a music video today – a song to remind me to say it now, before it’s too late.  A song by

Mike & The Mechanics  -   The Living Years

 

 

As always, thank you for visiting my blog.  I appreciate it.

 


Want happiness? Change your Attitude!

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. .”

- Maya Angelou


Earlier this week, a fellow blogger put out a challenge for a few of us to write some posts on Happiness:

http://margekatherine.com/2012/05/09/happiness-care-to-share/

This isn’t a tough challenge for me – those of you who have followed my blog know that this is one of my favorite topics.

There are so many things that make me happy . . . so many things make me unhappy too – but what I’ve come to notice is that more often than not, it’s my attitude that is affecting my happiness level.  I love Maya Angelou’s quote above – the only thing I can really change is my attitude.

This fantastic video emphasizes three things:

Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity

Superb!

 

 

Please let me know what you thought of Neil Pasricha’s video.  And as always, thank you for visiting my blog.  I appreciate it.

 

Optimism!

“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.”

- William James


I just read a fascinating book called The Luck Factor

http://www.richardwiseman.com/books/luckfactor.html

In his book Richard Wiseman explores why some people seem so lucky. It turns out that these lucky people don’t have special powers, like ESP, or anything extra-ordinary.  Most of them are no different than you and me.  But he did discover a few special things about lucky people:

Lucky people generate their own good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”

He discovered that lucky people tend to be more optimistic in general and to expect good luck in their lives.  He noticed that people who expect luck have a more powerful ability to notice opportunities in their environment. Optimistic people’s field of perception is literally greater. And the great news is that he discovered that when you train people to expect luck, their field of perception increases accordingly!

Isn’t that wonderful!  This can be taught!  It’s not really a surprise, considering everything that has been written recently about neuroplasticity.  But still – how marvelous, people can be trained to expect luck and their field of perception will increase.  I just love that.  And I love the by-products for the research participants:

The results were astounding with almost all participants reporting significant life changes: including increased levels of luck, self-esteem, physical well-being, confidence, and success.”

I’d like to end this post with a video of the person I consider the The Ambassador of Optimism – The Dalai Lama speaking about Optimism in the Face of Adversity.

 

 

Please let me know what you thought of The Dalai Lama’s video.  And  I’d love to hear about your experiences being lucky.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog.  I appreciate it.

 

 

Thinking Thoughts

“We can think of only one thing at a time.”

- St. Thomas Aquinas


If we believe that we can only think one thought at a time, as St. Thomas Aquinas, Jose Silva and so many others have said, then why do we spend so much of our time wasting our precious one thought to sabotage ourselves?  If we take the time to actually pay attention to our thought process, it’s amazing how many of our thoughts are negative.  In one of my past posts, Our Magnificent Mind I explored this phenomena.

But once we get stuck in that negative spiral, how can we get out?  One thing that I have found helpful is using very simple affirmations.  For example, if I’m dwelling on a pain in my body and my thoughts, like a terrier,  won’t let go of focusing on the pain and even worse, catastrophizing the pain (you might have experienced that one, a small pain in the body suddenly becomes cancerous and death inducing) – I invoke a a simple sentence.  I say cancel/cancel, and replace the blah blah in my head with “I am Strong, Vibrantly Fit and Healthy!”  A short, simple sentence which replaces the negative chatter with a positive statement.  If I’m awake at night worried about money and catastrophizing that one, I say cancel/cancel and replace that negative spiral with “I am Powerful, Abundantly Prosperous and Wealthy!”  I find that the secret is to keep it short and simple, and to focus it directly at the specific negative thought.

Of course I didn’t make this up!  This technique has been used for years by millions of people.  Here is one fun article about the use of affirmations from Scott Adams, the man who created the Dilbert comics:

http://www.mindpowernews.com/DilbertAffirmations.htm

This is from a great site called Mind Power News.  They have a wonderful newsletter I highly recommend.

I learned this technique at a Silva Mind Method Course.  For those of you who have not heard of Silva, I urge you to explore their site and read Jose Silva’s book The Silva Mind Control Method.   For those of you living in NZ, you can explore Silva at:

http://www.thesilvamethod.co.nz/

There are several videos on YouTube of Jose Silva discussing his technique.  Here is one that I found informative:

 

Please let me know what you thought of Jose Silva’s video.  And If you have done a Silva Mind Method Course I’d love to hear about your experience.

As always, thank you for visiting my blog.  I appreciate it.