One of my favorite ways to spend quality educational time is to watch talks on TED.com. This blog entry is about one of those talks by Dan Gilberts titled “Why Are We Happy? Why Aren’t We Happy?” In this talk Dan Gilberts describes the research which demonstrates how we choose our happiness, and the circumstances under which it is easier for us to “manufacture” happiness. He also discusses those factors and situations which make it more difficult for us to “manufacture” happiness. The research shows repeatedly that most of us think that “Getting what we want”, is the thing which will make us happy. The reality is that “Getting what we want”, has almost no correlation to our long term happiness. Dan Gilberts explores in his talk the process our brains go through in projecting into the future and trying to predict what will make us happy, and how this process is so often wrong in its conclusions.
The Mindshifters group met last night as usual on Tuesday evening, from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm in Cary, IL. It was a smaller group than normal, but as usual, the perfect people were there, to accomplish exactly what needed to be accomplished for those in attendance. I won’t go into the topic, and the specific work that was accomplished because, despite the incredible power and intensity of the work that was done last night, the most impressive thing for me about the group is the process, not the content.
Last night the Mindshifters group watched the movie “Try It On Everything”. This movie takes ten people with real problems and sends them to a house for a four day intensive with Emotional Freedom Technique, (EFT), therapists. The ideas behind EFT are discussed by experts in energy work, healing, and personal growth, interspersed with actual footage of the people in the movie using EFT for their specific problems. The movie ends with a follow-up meeting six months after the original four days, in which seven out of ten people return to tell of their fantastic results.
An outlier is a person or an event which varies a great deal from the norm, or the average. This can be someone who is much more successful than almost everyone else, or someone who is “luckier” than almost everyone else, or richer than almost everyone else, etc. In this book Malcolm looks at patterns which can be seen with almost everyone who is more successful, richer, more musically talented, etc. than almost everyone else. What he found is amazing! When we talk about people who are richer and more successful we usually talk about them being amazingly more talented, or amazingly more lucky. The truth is that there are predictable patterns which can be observed, and for almost every situation in which someone excels at their work, their music, their craft, or their art, these patterns are there to be seen.
Last night in the Mindshifters group we listened to another half-hour of the four hour audio recording of Dr. Michael Ryce’s lecture titled, “Why Is This Happening To Me Again?”. The thing that struck me during this session was the realization that this work gives me a whole new way to understand, “Keep your thoughts on God!”. As a child being raised in a Roman Catholic home and attending Roman Catholic schools, I was frequently told to keep my thoughts pure and think about God. As I listened to the lecture last night, I had the realization that when I think of God as a person, a father, a powerful being, etc., I have a difficult time staying focused on God while going about my daily activities. However, when I think of God as Love, and as the energy of Love, and realize that I was designed as an energy system to contain that energy, it is much easier to keep my thoughts focused on God.