What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life?

If you think it's fame and money, you're not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you're mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction.

In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.

Source: www.ted.com

Let us help you to create your New Year's Resolutions

Every year the same: eat healthier, exercise more, start something new, enjoy more life, .... the list goes one. 2015 is almost upon us and it's time to write a fresh list of New Year’s resolutions – ones you’ll actually keep this time, the whole year through. Maybe!

Let's put aside those standard irreal resolutions and rather make a flashback and evaluate yourself. Make a kind of self study and set up realistic goals based in long term habits which will really transform your life.

But where to begin? Ask yourself:

What were your most fulfilling moments of 2015?

Can you think about times when your life was really moving? Maybe it was a work promotion, a trip, a simple walk to the park, a festive day, an investment done ... 

Who are the people who supported you this year?

Remember that time you were really in a bind, and that special someone who came through for you? Think about the people who really helped you out this year, in a work-related or personal scenario

Now, simple make your new year's resolutions based in what made you happier in 2015:

Whatever it is, make a resolution to do more of what made you happier. Sometimes, instead of racking your brain to think of new ideas, remember what worked well in the past. Do more. And stick on the people who supported you and make it a resolution to build your friendships with them.

Most important: Make the decision to make your 2016 a fullfilled year!

"Everyday people are improving their lives. It is simply a matter of a decision being made. Let it be you!" Jim Rohn

The Happiness Syndrome

"If you feel unhappy without reason, or apportion these reasons so small, it may be because you are too happy and is unable to metabolize these happiness. Something like indigestion from too much happiness. Think about it and stop complaining in life. Look for some ideal, art, philanthropy and start having to fight for it. You never need to take Prozac." DeRose

Modern man in evolutionary transition has always sought to win and the incentive to win, for millions of years, has been to gain a sense of satisfaction on an emotional and physiological level.  

As humans, when we feel threatened our in-built design to fight or flight takes charge.  If we manage to fight or flight with success, we manage to overcome threatening situations.  

Fighting to win or flighting the clutches of some predator are two scenarios which involve a struggle through which by defeating another, man can satisfy his core needs.  This is at the centre of man’s instincts.  

The trouble for man begins however when neither outcome, fight nor flight, takes effect.  If unable to outdo or flee such an undesirable despot or situation, what triggers immediately is something else leading to a whole host of physiological disorders.  This ‘something else’ has been extensively studied and analysed for many years, in laboratories and in life.

What has resulted from such analysis is “The Happiness Syndrome”.  This phenomena presents an alternative reality to the one we’ve been discussing above. Instead of fighting or fleeing a situation, a surrendering to the status quo takes place.  

Now the human brain has the sophisticated potential to surrender in this way and therefore suppress the need for a euphoric fight or flight.  But by not meeting this instinctive need the brain (ego) steps in and creates explanations for such a defeat, which fails to meet our instinctive drives.

We can call this a false justification and no human, whatever age or background is exempt from such a sorry state.  If such a state of self continues, in short, the individual will without a doubt begin to feel a total lack of satisfaction in life, simply due to the fact that the instinctive drives to fight or flight are not being fulfilled.  

Instead, a state of falsehood or limbo takes over leaving the individual without any experience of reward or achievement.  This absence of struggle to accomplish anything successfully through any kind of adversity is what contributes to The Happiness Syndrome.

The thing we as humans need to avoid is for this ‘unconscious’ state to set in, which mitigates our discontent by serialising unhappy incidents in our lives with convenient (and false) stories which only perpetuate conditions for us to remain in discontent for far too long.

To become conscious is to remind ourselves of our natural and instinctive drives, and to then accept how beneficial all adversity and challenge can be for us.

If factors in our society and within our four walls do not challenge us or our status quo, then we run the risk of preferring an almost static existence where we choose not to engage with opportunities.  Instead we suffocate our basic human drives from being fulfilled therefore keeping ourselves from enjoying a true state of happiness.

Article by Prof DeRose. Newly revised Serena Desai.

Happiness - The High Performance Accelarator

A theme always in vogue in various areas is  high performance. Books on the subject in sports, business, relational, multiply the shelves of bookstores. We see TV shows talking about how to be number one in anything: tennis, soccer, running, and not only that, how to get rich, how to influence people and so on. But what really is high performance? What is to be done? What is success? How do you measure that? I have to be better than the other or that is a perception of myself?

In a society increasingly competitive and individualistic, we tend to perceive our only comparatively achievements, if we are in the first place on the podium is what counts.

Is that what really sets if we have success, if we are made, if we have an excellent performance? Victor Frankl wrote the book In Search of Meaning, after having been  years stuck in a concentration camp in Nazi Germany in the Great World War 2 and noted that in those extreme pain and suffering people who survived had something in common: after all , be sure that life had a greater sense and those who lost their perspective, delivered the adverse circumstances surrounding them did not last more than a few days.

According to research from Harvard University, doctors in a positive state of mind shown three times more intelligence and creativity than those who are in a pessimistic or neutral state and has 19% more accurately and quickly in their diagnosis. This same survey shows that optimistic salespeople close more business 56% that pessimistic or neutral.

We are very much focused on what we should not do and what we did wrong, we learn through pain, we can not see that happiness comes before success, but if we are more positive since the beginning of our path to success and the achievement of our goals and objectives we will be more likely to achieve the results we want. If we see sense in what we are doing we will have more strength to endure any difficulties that life in present along the way.

People who seek a different result for life, for competitions, for their companies has very interesting features: it does not have the ideal conditions for expected result happens, they create them; focuses above average in their activities; assume responsibility for the outcome of their actions and do not put the blame for his mistakes on others; has more proactive and positive attitude to life events, among others.

To break the inertia, you must first be willing to leave the common place and incorporate the conviction that today should be better than yesterday and tomorrow better than today. Understand that having a great life requires discipline, patience and humility. And before all this started any journey with joy, and enthusiasm, because there is no guarantee that we will get the target we want, then do not take the process we will be putting our lives out. Try! GET INSPIRED!

Fabiano Defferrari Gomes

[Original text by Fabiano Defferrari Gomes, translated by Sonia]