We’re all searching for happiness. For the perfect job or partner or trinket which will complete us. But even if we get it, the happiness we hoped for is, at best, short-lived. So why not start with the happiness first? What if being happy is what creates success?
If we genuinely want to be happy, we have to create it. Why? Because we can’t wait around for a specific event, date, or object to come into our lives. If it doesn’t happen, our happiness will never occur. More importantly, studies continue to show this concept is backward, as happiness fuels long-term success and fulfillment, not the other way around.
Chris Bailey on the subtle difference between a mind that is distracted and one that is actively seeking out distractions:
We think the problem is that our brains are distracted. But after looking at the research, this is what I’ve come to know as a symptom for the deeper problem. It’s not that we’re distracted, it’s that our brains are over stimulated. It’s that we crave distraction in the first place.
Distraction isn’t an inherent property of our minds, it’s something we’re doing, albeit subtly, because we’re compelled to. This means that by mastering this craving, the extent to which we’re distracted during our daily lives is something we can learn to bring under our control.
The video is 16 minutes long. Try keeping a tally of hw many times you have the urge to seek distraction during that time.
Meditation is still widely seen as a fairly esoteric practice. It’s poorly understood by the majority of people, largely because it’s poorly understood, or explained, by many practitioners. Luckily, science is catching up. There’s already a brand scientific literature about the benefits of meditation, and it’s growing.
…Self-directed neuroplasticity, then, is the ability for the brain to change itself depending on how you direct your thoughts and attention. The “self-directed” piece refers to your ability to intentionally shape your brain by using it in a specific way.
For example, thinking positive thoughts has been shown to produce epigenetic changes in the brain. Whatever is on your mind today is building your brain of tomorrow. That can be good or bad depending on the mindset that you’re engraving into your brain.
In 1979, psychologist Ellen Langer and her students carefully refurbished an old monastery in Peterborough, New Hampshire, to resemble a place that would have existed two decades earlier. They invited a group of elderly men in their late 70s and early 80s to spend a week with them and live as they did in 1959…Her idea was to return the men, at least in their minds, to a time when they were younger and healthier—and to see if it had physiological consequences.
Fascinating article about the effects of mindset on not only the perception of ageing, but the physiological realities of it.