Friday, December 11, 2009

Living from happiness instead of for happiness

A few days ago, while using my favorite online service -- (more on them in another post) -- I came across the summary of a book called "Happy for no reason" (written by Marci Shimoff with Carol Kline). There is one sentence in that book that absolutely perfectly describes what I believe to be the best philosophy on life:

Living from happiness instead of for happiness

That right there is what I believe our planet needs the most - more people living from happiness instead of for happiness. And combining that with my favorite quote from the Dalai Lama

The meaning of life is to be happy and to be useful

gives the recipe for a fantastic life. I firmly believe that it's no accident the Dalai Lama puts 'happy' before 'useful' and I also firmly believe that he means 'be useful from happiness' (and not for happiness.)

And how can we become happier so that we truly start living from happiness? Well, reading Marci Shimoff's book is probably a very good way to start.

Although I disagree slightly with one fundamental assumption she works with. She says something like that 50% of our happiness set-point is genetic and cannot be changed, 10% comes from external circumstances that are hard to change (and that most people spend most of their energy on trying to change), and 40% comes from what we do and think (our habits, thoughts, actions...). I fully agree with the 10+40% assumptions and she gives fantastic advice on how to improve our happiness set-point by working with the habits and actions 40%.

But I humbly disagree that 50% of our happiness set-point is genetic and cannot be changed. While some of our happiness set-point may be genetic and unchangeable, I believe that it is possible to go deep into our subconscious minds and do a great deal of healing work there that will impact this part of the happiness set-point. And I actually believe that this is by far the most important part of working on increasing our happiness because it is this work that provides a strong yet flexible foundation for all the other work (i.e., the aforementioned 40%). Over the past seven years I've seen this change occur in myself as well as dozens of other people to know that this is true.

So what are actually the methods or techniques for impacting this part of the happiness set-point? I have personally used a combination of holotropic breathwork and PBSP to make these changes (you can see my earlier posts on these methods). I am sure there are other methods as well. But the reason that HB and PBSP are so good is because they are the most effective methods I know of that can effectively deal with what I believe are the biggest causes of unhappiness in adult life that has no apparent cause: A) a glitch in the birth process, and B) so called 'traumas of omission' very early in life (i.e., first few seconds, minutes, hours after being born, all the way to the first one to three years of our life). I'll write about more about these two causes, which mainstream psychology / psychotherapy absolutely underestimates IMHO, in a later post.

But for now I'd like to encourage you to start living from happiness instead of for happiness and start working on ways of increasing your happiness set-point. And for those that are eager to either continue with or get going on the "useful" aspect, I'll end today with the best quote I've ever heard on finding one's calling in life:

Our true calling is where our joy meets the needs of the world
(Barbara Ernest)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

2012 - Apocalypse or New Sun? - Shift of the Ages film project

There is too much nonsense being spread throughout the world by the Hollywood 2012 movie. Here's another movie, with a different point of view - one that I like much better...

Check out for more.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Demystifying holotropic breathwork

In the past week I spent two days assisting with holotropic breathwork sessions. These sessions enabled me to observe how incredibly powerful this healing method is. Yet at the same time, some negative articles have appeared in the press at around the same time regarding this technique. So the following blog entry is dedicated to demystifying some of the fiction that seems to be surrounding holotropic breathwork (HB):

Expectations: There seem to be overblown expectations of what HB is and what it can do. Some people expect that they'll be taken on a wild trip into the transpersonal realm of the human psyche, full of colourful images, meetings with God and answers to all questions. Others expect that one HB session will cure their addictions, neuroses or whatever problem they are dealing with. While all of this can happen, it is generally not the case. And it virtually never happens in the first session. My advice -- as someone that has "breathed" at HB sessions at least 20x (over the course of seven years) and that has assisted at several sessions as well -- would be to try to have no expectations and use the first session as a "getting-to-know altered states of consciousness" session. I also like the advice that it's good to experience at least 3 sessions before making up one's mind about HB, because each session is so different - all of my 20 sessions have certainly been different.

Session leader: This is probably the most important point and I can't stress this enough. Only attend and breathe at sessions that are lead by highly experienced pracitioners that have been certified by the Grof Transpersonal Training Program! There are too many people out there that attended a couple sessions and then began leading their own sessions. This is dangerous as these people are not trained to properly handle all of the situations that can occur. Officialy trained practioners are obligated to provide a 3-4 hour presentation about HB, which must be attended by all persons before they are allowed to "breathe" at a session. My advice would be to definitely attend this initial presentation and only proceed with attendance at the actual breathing session if you have a good feeling about the practitioner based on the initial presentation. And if no such initial presentation is offered, run far away! :-)

At the end of this post I would like to express my opinion that when lead by the right people, holotropic breathwork is a perfectly safe and wonderful method of self-discovery. It makes it possible to put aside our usual assumptions, habits, roles and social masks, explore our psyche, discover new parts of us and integrate these parts into our lives. This makes us more complete as human beings and in turn more happy, which brings to mind Carl Jung's famous quote: "strive not to be perfect, strive to be complete!"

For more information about Holotropic Breathwork, please visit its official website.

A little something from the Upanishads...

I was waiting for the bus today and noticed a beautiful poster for meditation lessons. On it was a quote from the Upanishads, which I just have to share here:

Smaller than the smallest, larger than the largest soul breathes in the hidden heart of man. Many, though they hear of the Self in the lotus of the heart, do not understand it. Wonderful is he who speaks of it. Intelligent is he who learns of it. Blessed is he who, taught by a good teacher, is able to identify with it.

Here's to all the great teachers out there and here's wishing that anyone who is searching finds the right teacher for them! I've certainly been blessed to have amazing teachers in my life and I'd certainly encourage anyone to search for the right teacher. They're definitely out there.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

My top three happiness habits

Yesterday a friend of mine asked me what I thought were the three most important "happiness habits". I found the question so intriguing that I decided I would answer it on this blog :-)

Obviously I -- and nobody else, for that matter -- can say what the three definitive happiness habits are. But what I can say is what the top three are for me - at least at this stage of my life. So here we go, in no particular order:

1) The DAILY BAG exercise! It consists of asking and answering the following three questions:
  • what are some of my blessings? (what am I grateful for in my life?)
  • what are some of my accomplishments? (what am I really proud of in my life?)
  • what are my goals, dreams, ambitions? (for today, this month, next five years?)

This exercise comes from the book "The psychology of winning" by Dr. Denis Waitley, and I like this daily exercise so much that I do it at least once a week :-) Personally for me, I find that it's reminding myself of the things that I am grateful for that has the greatest impact on my happiness.

2) Regular daily exercise or movement routine. Every morning I make sure that I get at least five minutes of my favorite physical exercises before continuing with the rest of my day. If possible, I try to get in at least 10 or 15 minutes. What I think is important is experimenting with and discovering a routine that works well. For some such a routine can be based on yoga, others may prefer one based on martial arts. I like to base about 70% of my daily exercise routine on Dan Millman's "Peaceful Warrior Workout" and I flexibly add the other 30% based on however I am feeling that morning. I also think that even if you can do just one minute, than it's worth doing. As Dan says, "one minute every day is a lot better than an hour zero times per week" (or something like that :-)

And if anyone's interested, this routine is a part of my larger "start the day right" routine, which also consists of a meditation, hot/cold shower and at least one piece of fruit for breakfast. I think such a "start the day right" routine is extremely useful, but likely somewhat different for everyone - experiment, experiment, experiment.

3) And finally, I am not sure it this last one is a habit -- perhaps it's more of a principle -- but I find it so important that I want to include it here: Recognize that being happy means being generally happy, and not all the time happy. I am not sure who said it, but "if we were happy all the time, how would we know?". I personally have the feeling that there is a general consensus in society that we have to be happy all the time, otherwise something is wrong. Well I don't buy that. I don't think there is anything wrong at all if we are unhappy, sad or angry once a in a while. In fact, I actually think that being unhappy, sad or angry occasionaly is a sign that we're healthy! It's all about what feelings predominate our lives, and that feeling should hopefully be happiness. I've found that approaching life in this way releases a lot of pressure and, lo and behold, increases the percentage of time that I am happy, AND increases the intensity of this happiness.

Well, I could write about this for hours, but I think I'll stop here. After all, blog entries should be brief. But enough about me. What are your top three happiness habits?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Some breathtaking art for the sometimes gloomy autumn days

Yesterday and Sunday I saw two amazing art exhibitions. The first one was a retrospective exhibit -- as well as a probe of the soul -- of perhaps the most famous Czech painter, Josef Capek (brother of Karel Capek, the man who gave us the word Robot in the play R.U.R.). I was absolutely blown away by the range of the man's work and by the range of the emotions he was able to express on the canvas - from the pure joy of a child at play all the way to the fear and anxiety of an adult during a war. The exhibit takes place until January 17 at the Prague Castle so if anyone is in the area during this time, I highly recommend visiting it.

And yesterday we went to see the Impressionism exhibit that is now being held at the Albertina Museum in Vienna. If I say that the Josef Capek exhibit was a probe into the soul of a man, then the Impressionism exhibit is a probe into the soul of the impressionist style, which is my favourite painting style. I like impressionism so much because the impressionists were the first painters to find the courage to abandon efforts to depict reality as precisely as possible and instead they tried to convey a feeling with their work. They were also the first ones to step out of the studio and into actual nature to paint their paintings. Of course at first they were heavily criticized, but they perservered and as a result ended up producing some of the most breathtaking art of all time.

And as a sort of bonus, not only does this exhibition present some breathtaking paintings from the likes of Monet, Renoir or Van Gogh, but it also presents fascinating insights into how they went about their work. This exhibition is on until January 10, I believe, so if you're in the Vienna area at any time between now and then, I again highly recommend visiting it.

But even if you will not be anywhere near Prague or Vienna in the next couple of months, perhaps there is an interesting art exhibit somewhere near your home. Especially in the sometimes gloomy autumn days viewing beautiful works of art can have a tremendously positive impact on our mood and optimism. At least it certainly works that way for me. Happy art seeing!

Friday, October 9, 2009

A little bit of adrenalin...

It's time for another Friday "from the lighter side" video. I'd never do something like this, but it's sure fun to watch:

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The source of unlimited happiness is INSIDE each one of us

The July 20th issue of the Czech magazine Respekt brought a very interesting interview with renowned Czech psychologist and psychotherapist Lubomir Kobrle. The final question was about what chances a person has to attain full satisfaction in life. Kobrle's answer is one that speaks straight from my heart too: "Each being has an internal source in it that makes it possible for the being to be happy. And the question is whether one is successful in activating this source or not, which is a somewhat mysterious matter."

I love that quote and I personally believe that every being on Earth has the source of unlimited happiness right inside him or her. Yet paradoxically most of us do so much looking outside of ourselves for happiness - just take a look at how well the entertainment, pharmaceutical, tobacco and alcohol industries, just to name a few, are doing. But how do we begin looking inward and how do we activate this source?

Kobrle offers the following suggestions: "work on oneself, psychotherapy, important meetings with people...", "...also experiences during altered states of consciousness during holotropic breathwork." In short, begin by searching inwards, ideally with the guidance of someone who has plenty of experience in this type of work. Btw, earlier in this blog I had written that PBSP is one of the techniques that has totally transformed my life. Well, now I'd like to add that Holotropic Breathwork is the other technique. I am planning to write about this amazing technique soon. Meanwhile you may wish to check out its official website. Or read my posts on TaKeTiNa, Rolfing, Drama Triangle or Dynamind - all techniques that I have found extremely useful on the journey towards unlimited happiness.

I wish you much insight and joy on your journey towards the inner source of unlimited happiness!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Great things are sometimes built on simple but solid foundations

I love the video below. It contains several messages I really like, including the one in the title of this post. I also love the power of Wintley's presentation style!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Brilliant presentation on the excesses of Western culture

The link to this video came in Dan Millman's e-newsletter today and I liked it so much that I want to repost it here. Startling statistics, brilliant presentation. Even though the presentation is specific to the United States, I am quite sure it is applicable to virtually the entire Western world.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Manifestation of a mature personality

I came across a wonderful few sentences while waiting at a doctor's office in Prague today. They were in Czech, so the words below are my translation of them. I believe I am coming along on some of the ideas, but I still need to do a lot work on all of them. Like letting go more and more of the safety of seclusion or being more kind towards my own as well as others’ imperfections. Which ones do you need to work on most? May these words be a useful reminder from time to time.

A mature personality manifests itself by:

A warm relationship with oneself (self-acceptance) as well as things outside of the self.
Willingness to “expose” oneself to others and let go of the safety of seclusion.
Participating in the forming of close, intimate, kind-hearted relationships.
Openess to the differences of various worlds in which “the others” live.
Understanding for ourselves as well as others.
Tolerance of the incomprehensible in others.
Kindness towards our own as well as others’ imperfections.
Patience with our own as well as others’ limits.
Searching for ways that provide opportunities to meet with ourselves as well as others.

Original text by Tereza Kocourková

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

TaKeTiNa: learn to relax in chaos by reconnecting with primal rhythms

One of the most interesting personal growth practices that I have tried is the TaKeTiNa Rhythm Process, which is an amazing technique designed to allow us to reconnect with primal rhythms. Of all the practices I have tried, this is the one I wish I knew of back when I was trying my hand at becoming a professional tennis player. The reason is that everytime I used to get into a stressful situation in a match, I would tighten up, try harder, and as a result play worse. What TaKeTiNa does, in my opinion, is program the body for the opposite reaction: try less, relax in the stress or chaos, and become much more effective.
So how does this method work? According to the official website,

"TaKeTiNa is a unique process capable of activating human and musical potential through rhythm. TaKeTiNa conveys rhythm in such a way that people can absorb, understand, and learn in the most natural manner. Instead of being taught random rhythmic patterns, TaKeTiNa guides its participants directly into the experience of primal rhythmic movements-that are anchored in the sensory-motoric system of every human being. This underlying rhythmic foundation expresses itself through music in every culture. In TaKeTiNa, the body is the main instrument. The experience is therefore direct, intense and lasting."

So if you're feeling that learning how to relax in chaos could be beneficial for your personal growth and / or happiness journey, I highly recommend that you check out the TaKeTiNa website, learn more about the process, and sign up for the next workshop taking place in your area. May the rhythm be with you!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Positive affirmations make some people feel worse

There is a great article on titled "The powerlessness of positive thinking - Self-affirming statements actually make some people feel worse". The article presents research supporting the thesis that positive thinking is not as effective in improving self-esteem as some popular self-help authors would like readers to believe. I fully agree with the researchers that "focusing on positive thinking" is not the way to increase self-esteem or become happier. I believe that this is because a positive affirmation addresses the present, whereas the low esteem or tendency to think negatively is rooted in the past, usually the deep past.
Personally I've seen my self-esteem increase with the use of PBSP, about which I've written in an earlier post. And I believe that the reason PBSP works is precisely because it deals with self-esteem or negative thinking at the time when the roots of the issues begin - usually between the ages of 0-3.
Returning to the article, I do not agree with the researchers' statement that "...if you can find a loving, supportive partner that’s probably the best possibility for your self-esteem". In fact, I think that's a bit of a dangerous statement because that would make one's self esteem conditional on something, or someone, else. And like happiness, I believe you can't have self-esteem dependent on anything outside of yourself. In addition, increased self-esteem because of a partner could also lead to all kinds of co-dependency issues in a relationship, as per the Drama Triangle, also discussed in an earlier post.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I'll be on a fully off-line vacation until July 5

Just a brief note that I will be on vacation from tomorrow until July 5. Since I firmly believe that vacation should be fully off-line, I will not make any posts until I return. In the meantime I would like to encourage you to have as much off-line time as possible (no Internet, cell phones...), even if it's just for a few hours on a Sunday. Have a great June and I'll look forward to posting more happiness and joy inspiration in early July.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Release energy by exiting roles in the Drama Triangle

One of the biggest ways through which we lose energy in our life is by playing different kinds of roles, oftentimes unconsciously. And one of the best tools for releasing ourselves from such role playing and freeing up tons of energy is the Drama Triangle.
Originally created by the psychotherapist Stephen Karpman, the Drama Triangle describes dysfunction that we frequently fall into in our relationships by playing the roles of Victim, Persecutor or Rescuer. Most of us have a tendency to gravitate towards one of these roles, but at one point or another we play them all. (Btw, we can also play these roles in the relationship we have with ourselves).
There are many good descriptions on the Internet of how the triangle works, with my favourite being this one. Most importantly, the site provides not only a good overview of how the triangle dynamic works, but also talks about how to avoid getting into it and how to get out of it once we recognize that we are in it. Recognizing when we are playing one of the roles is the first and most important step.
The book called "The Power of TED" also has a very interesting section on the triangle, calling it the Dreaded Drama Triangle. The author, David Emerald, offers a slightly different approach to getting out of the triangle, so you may wish to check that out as well. If you prefer a video seminar approach, there are also several videos on YouTube that you can find by simply searching for "Drama Triangle".

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Restructure your body with Rolfing Structural Integration

A well functioning body can be a great help on our happiness journey, and one of the most beneficial things I've ever had done to my body is Rolfing Structural Integration, or "Rolfing" for short. I've had at least 15 Rolfing sessions and I am still amazed at the results. I am not sure how many of you have ever heard of Rolfing, so here is a short description from the official website of the Rolf Institute:

"Rolfing is ... a form of bodywork that reorganizes the connective tissues, called fascia, that permeate the entire body. More than fifty years ago, Dr. Rolf recognized that the body is inherently a system of seamless networks of tissues rather than a collection of separate parts. These connective tissues surround, support and penetrate all of the muscles, bones, nerves and organs. Rolfing works on this web-like complex of connective tissues to release, realign and balance the whole body. Essentially, the Rolfing process enables the body to regain the natural integrity of its form, thus enhancing postural efficiency and your freedom of movement."

So if you feel that your body could use some complete restructuring, head on over to the Rolfing Institute's website, read some more about this technique, and, if you're beginning to feel like it may be something for you, use the "Find a Rolfer" feature and book an introductory session. Your body just may thank you :-)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Addiction to comfort in the Western Society

I really believe that one of the biggest addictions of modern Western Society is what I call "addiction to comfort". I also believe that this addiction is one of the blocks that prevents us from being as happy as we could be.

Just consider the comfort humans have had throughout history in comparison to the comfort we are experiencing in our lives today. We have food, water, heat, dry clothes, means of communication, transportation, entertainment, etc., at our finger tips basically all the time. Then consider how irritated we get when something from that list does not work the way we think it should . I think anyone who lived even only a hundred years ago would have a good laugh at some of the things we call problems today.

In my opinion the best first step towards releasing ourselves from this addiction is to start being aware of it. Then there are also conscious practices we can do in order to begin learning how to relax in situations that are not that comfortable for us. One of the best practices for doing this is fasting. If we can remain relaxed and comfortable while hungry, it will carry over to other aspects of our lives. Another great practice is taking a cold shower every day, ideally in the morning and evening. Again, if we can learn to relax in the cold shower, this will expand our comfort zone for discomfort. A third tip is leaving the car at home and walking to where we want to go whenever possible. I am sure you can also come up with many practices of your own.

I wish you success in your efforts to become more comfortable with being less comfortable :-)


One note on fasting. Even though it is a very beneficial practice for many reasons, it is not for everyone. There are many good sites on the Internet about fasting, which I highly recommend checking out before beginning a fast. Also, if you have any doubts about whether fasting is for you, speak to your doctor first. And finally, never do a fast for weight loss purposes -- it is not a sustainable way of keeping weight down!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A scientific look at the top 10 recommendations for happiness in New Age books

In an interesting twist, in September 2008 the Journal of Happiness Studies took a scientific look at the top 10 recommendations provided in New Age books for increasing happiness. In an article called New age advice: ticket to happiness?, which you can download for free from their site here, the author -- Maarten C. Berg -- first presents the top ten list. To save you time, here are the recommendations, in no particular order:
  • Become spiritual
  • Be authentic
  • Know yourself
  • Connect to the world
  • Meditate
  • Think positively
  • Take control
  • Live healthily
  • Live simply
  • Follow your gut feelings

Next, the author "considers the probable effects on happiness of these, by examining both the theoretical plausibility and the empirical conditions of happiness."

And finally, the author concludes that "that several recommendations are likely to produce beneficial consequences...", but "...the advice will not fit everybody equally well and that some New Age practices may reduce happiness, e.g., practices that undermine a realistic outlook on reality."

So quite an interesting endeavour, in my opinion. And, btw, is your gut telling you that focusing on one or more recommendations on the list could be beneficial for you?

Friday, May 29, 2009

The magic of Daniel Chesterfield

It's Friday, so something from the "Lighter side" category today. You may know the magic of David Copperfield, but do you know the magic of Daniel Chesterfield?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Enhancing joy and happiness with the Dynamind Technique

One of the most interesting "solo" practices that I have discovered in recent years is called " Dynamind". According to its creator, Serge Kahili King, "The Dynamind Technique, or DMT, is a safe, easy, fast, and effective method of healing based on a special blend of words, touch, breath and, sometimes, imagery." It is also based on the belief that all healing comes from the inside. I've used it to supplement the healing of some injuries I have had and it really does work.
But as useful as the technique is for changing "negative" things in us, it is also an amazing technique for enhancing "positive" things in us, such as joy, happiness, love or whatever else. So let's say you do a quick morning workout, take a cold shower and are feeling full of energy. That's a great time to do a couple of rounds of Dynamind to enhance the energy and joy of life and encode them deeper into the body and mind. Also great about Dynamind is that is a very flexible technique that can be adapted to almost any type of person and issue. And rounds of Dynamind can build on one another, taking you as far as you are ready to go.
So my suggestion for today would be to go to the Dynamind website, read the instructions that are provided there and give Dynamind a try. You may be surprised where it takes you...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The power of "YES AND"

I don't know about you, but I was surprised to find out that there are actually rules to Improv Theater (try googling "improv theater rules" :-). And the first rule on most of the lists is called the rule of "Yes And". It simply means that an actor in an improv play should accept the information that he or she receives from the other actor(s) and build on it. This allows for energy to flow freely in the play and for great scenes to develop.
When you think about it, this is also a great rule to incorporate into "real" life. I find it very interesting to notice the different kind of energy that is produced by a "Yes And" answer in comparison, for example, to saying "Yes But". Whereas "And" seems to multiply energy, "But" seems to block the flow of energy. In fact, to me it seems that "Yes But" blocks energy almost as much as a "No" answer does.
So what if you disagree with what someone is saying or proposing. How about trying the "Yes Or" answer? "Or" seems to be a good way to reject something, while diverting energy into another direction, rather than blocking it. Anyway, try it and you'll see what works for you.
One final note for today. Many of you have probably seen the recent Jim Carrey movie "Yes man", which deals with this topic in an interesting way. If you haven't seen it, I definitely recommend checking it out.

Monday, May 25, 2009

"We are born to be happy in an imperfect world" - Albert Pesso

The quote that is in the title of today's post is one of my favourite quotes by one of my favourite teachers - Albert Pesso. I like the quote so much because in my opinion it perfectly summarizes why we are on this planet. Having said that, I highly recommend going over to the PBSP website and having a look at the technique that Albert Pesso and his wife, Diane Boyden-Pesso have developed: "Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor", or "PBSP" in short. It is one of the two techniques that has totally transformed my life and I highly recommend it to everyone, regardless of where you may be on your path to happiness. I don't want to get too much into the details, because they're all on the PBSP website, but I do want to say that it is a great technique for building a solid yet flexible foundation for all of our journeys.
There are several reasons for why I like PBSP so much. First, it is a great way of getting down to the real roots of any issues that we may be facing in our lives. Second, it not only gets down to the roots, but it also provides a "corrective experience" for the issues, which makes the healing very effective. Third, it does not only consider "traumatic" experiences we may have had in the past, but it also considers and effectivelly heals "deficits" that we may have experienced in the past. And fourth, it also brings a unique concept called "Holes in roles" into the equation, which releases us from the roles that we may be playing unconsciously in our lives and that are draining huge amounts of energy from us. Speaking of "Holes in roles", I highly recommend the article that is available on this topic at the PBSP website.
So my suggestion for today would be to spend some time on the PBSP website, and then check out "Al's schedule" and see if you can attend one of the many available workshops. Or click on "PBSP International" on the left side of the website and find out if there are any PBSP workshops or practitioners in your area.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

"The Open Secret" by Elizabeth Lesser

There are many barriers to happiness in life. In this brief video, Elizabeth Lesser discusses one of the fundamental barriers to human happiness: that we all carry around with us an "open secret"...

About this blog and author

As is evident from the title, this blog will be dedicated to human joy and happiness, especially to how each and every one of us can increase the amount of joy and happiness in his or her life and make it last. In order to accomplish this, I will discuss relevant techniques, the great teachers of this topic, various inspiring resources (books, movies, websites...), my own "principles of happiness for the 21st century" as well as anything that I believe is useful for this journey. I would also love to hear from you, the reader, what you have found useful over the long-term so that some good information exchange happens here.
The emphasis of this blog will be on openess, honesty, clarity, content and easy readability and comprehension of this content. I will do my utmost to cut out any irrelevant words, information or "flash and flair".
And why do I feel I am competent to run a blog on human joy and happiness? 11 years ago I got my MBA with a perfect 4.0 GPA after having a two year try as a professional tennis player. 10 years ago I began my career in the corporate world as a McKinsey consultant. But 6 years ago I began feeling that despite having what most of western society would call a "successful life", I wasn't happy deep inside. And some health issues began slowly creeping up as well. So I slowly began immersing myself in the psychology of joy and happiness until 3 years ago I quit the corporate world for good in order to pursue a life of joy and happiness full time. And slowly, over time, as I discovered and learned amazing things, I became happier, calmer and the health issues have gone away. So perhaps you can think of this blog as my report from this six year transformation, which, of course, is still under way and will continue until I transform into whatever comes after this life.
Of course I still have to make money in order to live life on my own terms. But I discovered that I need a lot less money than I thought. So I spend about 15 hours a week 45 weeks a year translating from Czech to English. This allows me to live comfortably and have lots of free time to pursue to pursue things I want to pursue. Like joy and happiness, among other things. And of course I still get upset, angry and frustrated at times. But I believe this is a sign of human health and all a part of the journey and learnings. So to end this post, I hope to share many of the findings that I have discovered on my journey and to inspire you to make joy and happiness the number one priority in your life. I believe you'll find it's the best decision you can ever make.