Happiness Evangelist

The Place to Be Happy is Here…


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Wanna Be Happy? Be Grateful.

David Steindl-Rast is a Benedictine monk who co-founded ‘A Network for Grateful Living’, an organization dedicated to gratefulness as a transformative influence for individuals and society (http://www.gratefulness.org). He also co-founded the Center for Spiritual Studies with Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and Sufi teachers.

In a very recent TED Talk on 27 Nov 13, Want to be happy? Be Grateful’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtBsl3j0YRQ), he talks about grateful living as a global ethic and the full response to a given moment and all that it contains. It is a universal practice that fosters personal transformation, cross-cultural understanding, interfaith dialogue, intergenerational respect, nonviolent conflict resolution, and ecological sustainability.

“The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy”, says Steindl-Rast, and “happiness, is born from gratitude”. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.

Grateful living according to him is “being aware that every moment is a gift. And, opportunity is the gift within the gift”. We need to be grateful in every given moment.

Being Grateful is as simple as crossing a street, explained in 3 steps:

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  1. STOPWe rush through life. It is important to be quiet and build stop signs into our life.
  2. LOOKWe need to open our eyes, our ears, all our senses to the wonderful richness that is given to us. We must open our hearts to enjoy this opportunity. Nothing makes us more happy when all of us are happy.
  3. GOThis is an invitation to do something…to Share, to be Mindful, to live with Integrity, to Learn, to Excel, to be Socially responsible…

A grateful world is a happy world. We must practise Moment-by-Moment gratitude in our lives to make the world a happy place.

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Happiness is Sharing…

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Giant redwood trees in the California forests tower 350 feet and are more than 2500 years old. To sustain this height, I expected them to have a deep root system that extended hundreds of feet into the ground.

Actually, the roots are extremely shallow – 6 to 10 feet deep only!

So how do these massive trees stand a chance of staying upright for a few minutes, much less a thousand years?

The secret is not in the depth of the roots but in the inter-connected nature of these roots.

The trees grow close together and their root system become intertwined among each other. When the storms come and the winds blow, they stand strong because they are not standing alone. Each of them supports and protects the other.

We are a community of Happiest Minds; not living in isolation but having our root systems intertwined with each other, providing mutual nourishment, protection and support. We need accountability and encouragement from each other.

Our lives should be characterised by this inter dependence, actively involved in sharing, in giving, in learning and in serving.

Happiness is…

…being a team player – mentoring – inspiring – encouraging

…willing to share knowledge – receiving – apprising – imparting

…willing to help others – supporting – rewarding – motivating

 

…Happiness is Sharing….

 


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Expression of Gratitude

We as a Company and as a Community believe that being grateful for the many things we have received increases our set point for happiness.

But how many times do we express Gratitude?

Research has also validated this – a 2005 study by Martin Seligman (Seligman, Martin E. P., Steen, Tracy A., Park, Nansook and Peterson, Christopher (2005). Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions) found that gratitude is one of the greatest contributing factors to overall happiness. 

A group of researchers from the YouTube Science Channel ‘Soul Pancake’ wanted to test this for themselves. They conducted an experiment with people who were asked to choose the ‘one person who had the greatest effect on their lives’. They were then asked to write down the reasons why they chose this one person….and then, pick up the phone and call that person to read to them what they wrote.

There were 2 interesting outcomes:

  • Those who took the time to write but didn’t call, saw happiness increase 2 – 4%
  • Those who wrote and called to express gratitude, saw happiness increase 4 – 19%

You can see this for yourself at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=oHv6vTKD6lg

As we come to the end of a work-week, isn’t it time, then, for us to express our gratitude to those who have impacted our lives – in person or through a call or email?

We will be enhancing our happiness and enabling others’ happiness as well.

Let us make that time….