Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Happiness Hypothesis By Jonathan Haidt Top 10 Lessons (Part 2).

If you haven't read part 1 of the top 10 lessons from The Happiness Hypothesis, click here to read it before reading lessons 6-10 down below.

6. Practice being social.

The first point of part two of this blog on The Happiness Hypothesis is to start to work on building closer relationships with the people in your life.  In the book Haidt says that "having strong social relationships strengthens the immune system, extends life (more than does quitting smoking), speeds recovery from surgery, and reduces depression and anxiety disorders."  (Having strong relationships link to your happiness has also been confirmed by Durkheim's diagnosis).

The reason this point stood out to me was because it was a huge eye opener for me.

Although I see myself as being extremely close with my immediate family and a couple of friends, I often times have trouble growing as close as I would like with many of the people that I meet and talk to on a regular basis.

This even affects how social I am with some of my more, distant family.  Maybe you can relate?

This point from the book is massive and I think the reason that this section stopped me in my tracks as I was reading was because I realized that this is something that I need to work on big time if I want to live my happiest and most fulfilled life.

If you are in the same boat, how are some ways you can continue to nurture the close relationships you have?  Maybe you have old friends you haven't spoke to in years, or would like to make new friends.

The Happiness Hypothesis By Jonathan Haidt Top 10 Lessons (Part 2).

7. Acceptance & Action.

"God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference."

Throughout our lifetime, many of us fixate on all of the "bad" things we cannot change about ourselves or our situation.  The classic saying above, is something that we can all use to our benefit.  First we must acknowledge that we are fixating on our "problems", in order to accept them.

As a reader of this blog, you may be all focussed on changing the things that you can change in your life.  But if you don't first accept the things about your life that you cannot change, then even when you change everything you can, you will still feel this state of unhappiness.

I realize that this may be challenging to do, in fact this is something I am currently working on in my own life.  However from my experience, the more I am able to accept what I cannot control, I am able to move faster towards my goals.

As I am writing this blog I realized that over the past few days that I was not accepting my situation I am currently in.  I just got back to Michigan from a nearly 3 month trip to Florida.  Being someone who loves to spend time outside in the warm, sunny weather, I noticed myself getting "triggered" being back in Michigan, and to be honest the first couple days back here I was feeling extremely down about it.

Today I just started to accept my situation a little more and I notice myself feeling better already.  Sure I do still wish I was in Florida, but there are many things in Michigan that I enjoy as well, and I know, deep down that feeling sad about not being in Florida isn't going to change my situation or help me to achieve my goals.

What is something in your life that you need to accept?  Learn to take a step back and look at what is currently a challenge in your life.  Doing this alone will help you learn to accept your situation and move forward from it.

8. Develop your strengths.

Become what it is in your nature to become, realize your potential, and develop your strengths to have the good life.

I believe that we are all born with a certain gift of our own.  We were given this gift to serve the universe as a whole in some way.  Your gift may not be something you are passionate about per se.

A classic example of this is part of Michael Jordan's story.  In short, Michael loved baseball, but his body wasn't built well for being very good as baseball, instead he would have more strength playing basketball (a sport he wasn't as passionate about, but had a better chance of being good at).  By Michael nurturing his strengths, we know him today as one of the greatest basketball players of all time!

By developing your strengths it will be easier to live not only a happy life but a fulfilled one as well.

9. You need love, work, and a higher purpose.

By getting the right relationships, work, and something larger than yourself, a sense of meaning and purpose will emerge.

To feel fulfilled in life, we must have meaningful relationships, as well as work, and be moving towards something bigger than ourselves.  If you are lacking in love, work, or a higher purpose it will be a challenge to move towards where you would like to be in life.

Love is what brings us together, and this goes back to lessons number 6 - being more social.  We must have more close connections with those we care about in our lives to live our happiest life.

Work can either be a huge destroyer of your happiness, or something that amplifies happiness.  If your wake up excited to do your work it is a good sign you are on the right path.  On the flipside, if you wake up every weekday hating your work and wanting to stay in bed rather than go to work, then you will always be unhappy as long as you continue to do that work.

From what I have noticed is that most successful people tie together their work with their higher purpose.

10. We need an Eastern & Western approach to life.

In different times we will benefit more from Eastern or more from Western philosophies.  At one point in life, you may need to sit back and reflect on everything in your life that matters to you.  Other times, you may need to hustle and actively move towards your goals.

Both philosophies are important, and if you neglect either one, your life is sure to be sub-par.

For example, in my own life, I have lately been feeling like I am hitting a wall at certain times, because I am super focused on growing, that I never take the time to work on my spiritual side as much.  Although I have been implementing 20 minutes of meditation per day, I still feel like I need to connect with myself more a couple days per week.  I feel as if I need this time for myself to make what I share 10 times better than it currently is.

Maybe you are in the same boat?  Or maybe you are on the other side, where you need or want to start taking a Western approach?

From what I have noticed so far in my own life, is that whenever I combine these philosophies, I am able to carry out my gift in the best way possible, and make things lighter and easier on myself.

Give it a try yourself, if you are only working, take some time to at least meditate each day.  If you are only meditating or reading but taking no action, start to take a more Western or hustle approach to your day.

Closing thoughts.

I hope that these 10 lessons from The Happiness Hypothesis will be beneficial to you in your very own life.  Comment below which lesson you are going to implement immediately and why you are going to implement that lesson into your life!

Live your life to the fullest,


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Why You Need To Be Grateful For 99% Of Everything You Complain About (The One Thing Nobody Talks About).

The idea for writing this blog came about around two weeks ago.  I one night I went to sleep around 12 a.m. and ended up waking up around 3 a.m.

This is pretty normal for me as I usually wake up once or twice throughout the night.  But this night was different, for some reason I could not get back to sleep even after laying in bed for over an hour.

I ended up feeling pretty aggravated, but decided to start my day after an hour and a half of trying to get back to sleep.  And although I was angry for only getting 3 hours of sleep, after a few hours I accepted it and it got me thinking about the subject of today's blog, which is to have gratitude for most of the complaints you have if you live in a first world county.

A few common complains we often have.

- Losing Wifi
- Traffic
- Waiting "too long" for food

We all have complained about at least one of these one time or another.  And yes they may be real complaints because we are used to living a certain way.  However, in the grand scheme of things, how much do most of our complaints really matter, or help us grow?

The scenario from a couple weeks ago helped me realize that I must recognize my complaints, and instead of complaining, I need to be grateful for having whatever I am complaining about be my biggest worry at that time.

I realized that complaining about getting 3 hours of sleep isn't going to serve me.

Why you can feel lucky in this situation.

The fact that we are able to complain about such minuscule things in our life is a true blessing.  Living in a first world country, we are able to have the luxury to complain about these things.  And often times, most of these complaints are accepted by most people as normal.

So how exactly can you feel lucky during a situation when you feel like complaining?

I'll use my own life as an example.  Almost every time the internet goes out or is taking more than 1.3 seconds to load something I notice myself get mad for a second.  Then I will start to shift my focus on a real problem that affects people in the world (such as someone walking several miles just to get some water).

Now I completely understand that this is an extreme case, but just try it for a second.  Think of something small that you have recently complained about, or a small complaint that is currently on your mind.  Then switch your focus and envisioning yourself having to walk miles to get some water.

Most likely your complaint isn't a big deal anymore, in fact you may even start to laugh that you had that complaint in the first place.

Closing thoughts.

Now I am not saying to never let things bother you, obviously we are all going to be bothered by something.  And it is fine to complain about certain things in our life.  I wrote this to shed some light on this topic because I never really hear people talk about it.  

Although you may still complain about little things in life (its ok I still do to), I hope that this blog has helped you to start to complain about little things less, and improves your life as a whole!

Live your life to the fullest,