Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wanna be happier? More fulfilled?

Ever heard of TED?

It's a brilliant website rife with presentations by people, some well-known, some experts in their field, others scientists, inventors and thinkers who share ideas worth spreading. "Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world."

The talks are supposed to last 18 minutes; most run a couple minutes longer, and I've found almost all worth watching, or listening to, while I'm multi-tasking. Sometimes I have to stop and single task, watching the speaker for his or her entire presentation.

In his positive psychology talk, Dr. Martin Seligman illuminates the study of psychology moving from studying mental illnesses - a disease paradigm - to the change studying ways to help "normal" people enjoy life more, mostly through creating positive emotions.

Turns out feeling happiness is not reliant on seeking pleasure, as most would imagine. A hit of pleasure is temporary, momentary. Continue to seek more pleasure-inducing experiences and you still won't be truly happy; you won't feel great without needing any other input to make you feel pleasure. The "feed me" pleasure valve doesn't turn off once you think that actually would make you happy.

If you know people who are constantly desperate for money or believe constant hits of joyful experiences will bring happiness, studies say nope, won't happen, now matter how firmly and sternly they attempt to feed their souls with them. In some cases, they may look like they're having a pleasant-to-good life, it still does not last.

The pursuit of pleasure - anything that is experienced as a consumer of pleasure - will not bring about the sensation of ongoing satisfaction with life.

An emptiness may still echo within.

What psychological studies have found is that what really brings about an enduring, enhanced satisfied feeling of a life well lived, happiness, is finding meaning in our lives. Pursuing a quest or task that helps others - dedicating at least part of your life to the welfare or betterment of others, a cause that feels larger than you.

It doesn't have to mean sacrificing your entire life to help others, but to find what makes you happy when you share, give, or build. The sense of selflessness makes a real difference in the quality of our daily lives, and we can set up our days to include this behavior in some way.

It means thinking of others and their welfare, their well-being, their comfort or happiness, brings us as much if not more enduring happiness than we are creating for others.

Dr. Seligman's talk is full of a more viewer-friendly academic information and knowledge to help you decide where you want to be on the Life Feels Good-0-Meter, with suggestions to support that quest, but these are just a few of its highlights that I thought you might enjoy reading.

I shared Dr. Seligman's thoughts with a couple friends who went with me to a baseball game last night and they found it interesting enough that I thought you might find it interesting and insightful.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home