Tag Archives: happiness

Taking happiness seriously

The Year started with hope, as it always does, and optimism.  We will be writing exciting stories in these new, empty days to come. On the surface another day, another night, deep inside, a new beginning. Why? welcome to the world of positive psychology.

A term coined by Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi as a “science of positive subjective experience, positive individual traits, and positive institutions.”

Seligman had already become famous for his work on learned helplessness or “how do we act when we think our actions don’t matter.”  Lucky for all of us, he considered it as a ‘learned’ behavior, as opposed to an intuitive or innate behavior (full disclosure, I’ve never taken a course on psychology in my life).

Csikszentmihalyi in turn was famous for his work on “the flow,”  a condition when

Happiness mind-map

Happiness mind-map (Photo credit: EEPaul)

we are so immersed in our work that time looses its meaning.

Seligman went on to create the foundations of happiness: PERMA.

  • Positive Emotion (including the common notion of happiness)
  • Engagement or Flow
  • Positive Relationships
  • Meaning and Purpose
  • Accomplishment

by the way, these were the same principles we used to create the first crowd written book on happiness. The authors contributed with written words… but many thinkers around the world wrote to us thanking us for bringing out a sense of awareness that happiness was worthy of thoughts. We still receive messages about it. We are taking happiness seriously…  because we know that any second of happiness has a long lasting impact on each individual and a powerful rippling effect in others – it just doesn’t reach the news because it does not create dramas.

Here is to a remarkable 2013.

 

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Revisting the brain… reality, fantasy and science

When Jill Bolte Taylor had a stroke in her left brain, a new universe appeared to her.

Driven to study neuroscience by her desire to understand her brother’s brain, Jill probably never thought how her studies would help her understand her own brain after having a stroke.

In this video, Jill explains how others feel and how she felt, and highlights the differences between the left and the right sides of the brain -she also shows a real brain – after watching this I’ll never forget that the right hemisphere is about the now, and the left hemisphere is about the connections in time.

Her story is a true example of how we connect otherwise unknown dots in a beautiful tapestry of actions and reactions. I love the richness of her descriptions, it makes me think about my days when I would spend hours in the lab trying to understand how genes where expressed in proteins in sunflower seeds, almost three decades ago… One day, I run unexpectedly into a poem by Becquer:  as long as we can’t explain every single thing, there will be poetry.

It makes me remember my friend Adela Rubio, an energy coach, whose calls always start with the now…  perhaps we could learn to do that. I start my days thinking what am I going to do to make it a special day? I’ll start bringing in a short stop to enjoy that I am awake and alive to bring out the joy for now.

A wonderful life would have to include balancing the wonder and magic of the now, the feeling of peace and disconnectedness described (minute 9) and the sense of accountability from minute 12 onwards…This is a fun, fascinating video…