Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the tag “Happiness”

Does our Pursuit of Happiness hinder Getting Things Done?

Taking a bit of a flyer on this one. Not particularly thought through, but it struck me in preparation for a talk entitled The Science of Happiness.

In a line from Daniel Nettle’s great book ‘Happiness, The Science behind your Smile’   he states ‘…happiness, though, is not calculated by a simple summing up of all the positive moments and a subtraction of the negative ones. It also involves more complex cognitive processes, such as comparison with alternative possible outcomes (note: this quote refers to something he calls ‘level two happiness’ which is all about ‘judgements about the balance of feelings’. A hybrid of emotion and judgement about emotion.

Now it’s a very pop. psychology way of thinking about it, but could this element of our happiness ‘assessment’ also operate as a pre-assessment in advance of activities?

Read more…

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The Management of our Attention

‘The ability to attend to our environment, to our own feelings, and to those of others is a naturally evolved feature of the human brain. Attention is a finite commodity, and it is absolutely essential to living a good life. We need attention in order to truly listen to others – and even to ourselves. We need attention to truly enjoy sensory pleasures, as well as for efficient learning. We need it in order to be truly present during sex or to be in love or when we are simply contemplating nature. Our brains can generate only a limited amount of this precious resource every day.’ – Thomas Metzinger, The Ego Tunnel

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How Things Start to Change When you Attribute True Value to Your Sense of Self

So how does it feel? How does it feel to think that you understand things a bit better? To think that you are a bit more certain about how things work for you and what things mean?

Unsettling is a good way of starting the description. From NLP/ hypnosis/ habit removal experiences I’ve had, it’s a similar awareness of a void. The void is the non-existence of the previous habit.

In my current situation it’s the awareness of the absence of a programme of striving for understanding or meaning in certain areas.

I’m experiencing this change from different perspectives. My interest in the content of a number of previously subscribed blogs has virtually dissipated overnight. I’m not talking here about divine revelations. It’s just a shift in understanding in how the relationship between conscious and other than conscious works. This shift makes me currently feel like I understand more, and have more answers when I look at the subject matter of these other blogs.

My feelings towards other content also feels shifted. My sense of value added by the body of self-help literature is diminished in part because I feel they’re missing the common thread. So many questions postulated without going back to that common denominator of our brains.

We are that common element in all the challenges that we perceive we face in our lives. Yet we don’t start from that psychological perspective of the workings of our brains and the relationship with our construction of ourself.

Just getting stuck into an excellent book, ‘My Stroke of Insight’ by Jill Taylor. A neuroscientist who suffered a stroke and recovered to write about the experience. Excellent, clear explanation of the workings of the brain with a description of a right hemisphere-led view of the world that takes you out of your comfort zone and then mugs everything you previously thought to be true.

Already, what this is telling me is that our approach to many personal development matters are too left hemisphere-led (thinking, rationalizing and logical detail) and thereby doomed to fail when our feelings and emotions kick-in.

So how does it feel? Invigorating and slightly scary when I look at the absence of some of the previous striving. But ultimately? Bloody marvellous……

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