“What Makes Us Happy?” explores true inner happiness and gives you some real tools to find it within, completely irrespective of your external circumstances.

Today, we want to take another look at a topic we’ve discussed a couple of times before, however, this time, we are going to dig deeper and ask better questions. I’ve got an amazing TED Talk to point you to and a book by the same speaker. This subject couldn’t be more EWC-centric.

 

You may know that I founded this website in March of 2014 to be the polar opposite of the negative 24-hour news cycle. We feature positive news about every subject under the sun, and now have 45,000 visitors a month from 190 countries, and get more than 500 new Facebook fans per day from around the globe! Turns out people from most cultures are sick of the fear, shame, and negativity in the media!

As we slide into the topic of happiness, we have a few questions for you to ponder – consider them the stretching before a little mental workout:

  • So why does it seem we gravitate towards suffering and disappointment? We tend to (1) focus on what we don’t have rather than what we do, (2) focus on the shortcomings of others rather than their gifts, and (3) constantly attach our happiness to expecting specific outcomes.
  • Is there a difference between pleasure and happiness that we must understand to be truly happy?
  • Should we proceed in our quest for real happiness by striving for the perfect external life conditions?

A great philosophical leader once said,

“If you are going to strive for the external trappings of pleasure – a life in a penthouse apartment for instance – but you are not truly happy within… all you will eventually do is look for a window to jump out.”

Wise advice. Let’s see if we can bring things around to a place where happiness is something you choose ahead of time, fundamentally, aside from external circumstances…

Image: 'Happiness,' by Matthieu Ricard - click here to order your copy on Amazon.com now

Source: Dr. Lynda

First, I am recommending this amazing book, “Happiness,” on the subject of finding true happiness. (You can find it via the link under the image below.) And you may remember,  I don’t recommend books to anyone unless they are extraordinary. This one is simply transformational if you need a boost when it comes to this subject.

The book “Happiness” holds a permanent place by my bedside or is within arms reach in my briefcase at all times,.. even in my dental office!

I have a lot of books, but this book feels almost like a friend who’s right there when you need to bounce something off a wise, receptive ear.

If I’m feeling any kind of inner struggle, or can’t seem to come up with a better question to solve a problem, I often crack it open randomly and read what my eyes fall upon for answers. Nine times out of ten, I come away smiling and shaking my head at the insight I found there. My copy (shown below) of author Matthieu Ricard’s masterpiece has more underlining and chicken-scratchings than any other book I own.

Image: 'Happiness,' by Matthieu Ricard - click here to order your copy on Amazon.com now

Page after page I have made notes to myself, where I want to revisit key points (which I do several times a week!) I’m always going to recommend that you ask your local bookseller to order this for you (support local!) but if that’s not possible, you can find “Happiness” on Amazon.com HERE. Source: Dr. Lynda

The beautiful thing about my book recommendation today is that the author, Matthieu Ricard, happens to have a transformational TED Talk that will give you a tiny taste of the concepts in his book. Like all things video versus written,.. the book is far better than the talk because in the book Matthieu has time to take you on many little “thought journeys” that make his points indelible. Keep that in mind if Matthieu’s introduction here leaves you only curious.

Also, FYI: the beginning of the happiness book is a bit slow if you don’t enjoy learning how this extraordinary man became who he is today. The first 20 pages or so are his biography but hang in there. The pearls are scattered throughout and eventually, he takes insight to a place where you will have to pause and think a bit on almost every page.

So without further adieu, here’s the Mr. Ricard giving you a small taste of the insights he’s earned through years of mindfulness practice… In a life that ranged from being a biochemist to a monk.

Relax with this one folks…it takes him about 4 minutes to get rolling…be patient with Matthieu as well as yourself, and you will be rewarded. (This is just the tip of the iceberg that you’ll find in the book.)

Enjoy!

Via: TED 1

A little too mind-bending for you? I had to watch it several times because my mind kept getting stuck on some of his assertions and then I’d miss huge segments. There’s a lot to ponder there.

Image: Bernie Boston's 1967 photo

Flower Power is a historic photograph taken in 1967 by photographer Bernie Boston. Source: Wikipedia

That’s the way the book is too. I don’t think I’ve ever read more than a few pages at a time because he has a way of laying things down like breadcrumbs to insights about our own moments in life.

Have some fun with this, even if you didn’t “get” it the first time through. Then try using some of the insights in your family or work environments.

You may know I’ve managed a team of 15 professionals for twenty years. Oh, how I wish I’d had these insights a decade ago! I’ve seen situations on my own office team where people seem we gravitate towards suffering and disappointment; focusing on what they don’t have in a co-worker, rather than what they do. Why do we focus on the shortcomings of others rather than their gifts? It’s easy to do that with our children and other loved ones too.

I’m going to try to be more mindful of the commentary swirling inside my head today and see how much goodness I’m choosing to miss.

Still curious about happiness? We have plenty of articles here on EWC which I can recommend. Here are just a few…

17 minutes

Sam Berns and His Happiness Secrets

Have you heard 17 year old, Sam Berns' secrets to a happy life? I watch this TED Talk periodically as a refresher course, no matter how busy I am - and maybe because of that. See why!

Read More

18 minutes

Secrets to the “Happiness Advantage” at Work

Want to be happier at work? Solid science predicts we actually control 90% of our happiness and only 10% is related to our circumstances! Today, Shawn Anchor tells us how to nurture the "happiness advantage" in our work and home. Amazing!

Read More

22 minutes

The Surprising Science of Happiness

In today's featured TED Talk, Dan Gilbert looks at the science of happiness and give us an insight we might use every day to create our own sense of joy, even when outcomes don't go our way. Take a look!

Read More

Meanwhile, I’ll keep working on staying open, curious and hopeful.

~ Dr. Lynda

Want to check out a little more positive news, fun or insights?

Head to our homepage to check out our latest articles, circles, and archives! Or, simply scroll down this page to find a few more incredible articles like this one!

Even better, subscribe to receive the latest from EWC right to your inbox!

Support us on Patreon!     Check out our library!

Notes:

  1. Ricard, Mattieu. “Matthieu Ricard: The Habits of Happiness.” TED.com. TED, 15 Apr. 2008. Web. 13 Sept. 2015. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbLEf4HR74E>.

Dr. Lynda is a dentist, artist, global traveler, and philanthropist who looks for potential and shares it with the world.

In this Circle

Welcome to a Happier, Less Stressed You!

12 minutes

[ Conspiracy of Goodness ]

By Dr. Lynda

Did you know that in five to ten minutes a day you can improve the way your brain process the world around you? This simple technique is a great way to help reduce your stress and increase your happiness. Give it a try!
Read More

Radiating Possibility or the Downward Spiral? Our Choice!

30 minutes

[ Business ]

By Dr. Lynda

Do you ever get caught up in a "downward spiral", either in conversations or trains of thought? Here's a world-renowned teacher to share a fascinating alternative mindset: radiating possibility!
Read More

This Year, A Resolution of Mindfulness!

12 minutes

[ Philosophy ]

By Dr. Lynda

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo explains the impact the way we think about time has on our lives! Now, this New Year how can we best use that knowledge to become more mindful people?
Read More

Secrets to the “Happiness Advantage” at Work

18 minutes

[ Business ]

By Dr. Lynda

Want to be happier at work? Solid science predicts we actually control 90% of our happiness and only 10% is related to our circumstances! Today, Shawn Anchor tells us how to nurture the "happiness advantage" in our work and home. Amazing!
Read More

Retrain Your Brain: Mindfulness

9 minutes

[ Happiness & Hope ]

By Dr. Lynda

Sometimes our own thoughts can lead us into a deep, dark, and endless pit. Thankfully, there just so happens to be an easily learned way to lighten it up a bit! Today we learn about Mindfulness and all it can do to help us dig our way out.
Read More

How to Finish Your To-Do List and Run a Marathon in One Day!

19 minutes

[ Creativity ]

By Dr. Lynda

Could you check off your entire to-do list in one day? It's not just possible, you can do it while having fun, doing what you love, and taking time to reflect! Here's how!
Read More

Change a Bad Habit With Skill Not Will

17 minutes

[ Food ]

By Dr. Lynda

Need the skills to change a bad habit? It turns out, will power may have nothing to do with your success. Here's what does!
Read More

What Makes Us Happy?

27 minutes

[ Curators' Best ]

By Dr. Lynda

We can all think of a a lot of things that makes us happy, but what if we didn't need things and circumstances to be happy? Former biochemist turned monk Matthieu Ricard give us a leap forward on that!
Read More

The Surprising Science of Happiness

22 minutes

[ Business ]

By Dr. Lynda

In today's featured TED Talk, Dan Gilbert looks at the science of happiness and give us an insight we might use every day to create our own sense of joy, even when outcomes don't go our way. Take a look!
Read More