Stop chasing positive emotions. Authentic happiness has nothing to do
with the temporary dopamine spike the masses call “happiness.”
If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve been intensely immersed in a series for a couple of months now about two things:
- The qualities and characteristics we all must master to survive, and hopefully thrive, in the Mach 10 Disruptive Market in which we live.
- What the experts are predicting to be the hottest trends and business opportunities in the near and extended future of our world.
We’ve invest considerable time over the last couple of months, blogs and live episodes of Leadership for the Future: Warrior, Scholar, Sage, in exploring the following topics from Yuval Harrari, the historian and futurist from Hebrew University in Israel; Peter Diamandis, the principle and founder of Singularity University; and many other notable luminaries on the following big three opportunities for both personal and business achievement:
- The ability to live longer and more healthy/vibrant lives. In fact, we explored the science now predicting you can literally become physically immortal at some time in the not too distant future.
- The ability and necessity to reinvent, adapt and redefine yourself for the massively disruptive Mach 10 Marketplace just to survive; and again, hopefully thrive.
We’ve covered the first two fully; and now we arrive at the third:
3. The ability to find authentic happiness and fulfillment smack dab in the middle of disruption and apparent chaos.
Now, if you thoroughly think about the first two, and how they synergistically work together, you’ll easily arrive at the imperative of the third.
Modern science is helping us live longer, but it’s not helping us live better.
What’s the point? We need to shift our focus.
The bottom line is that you’ve been sold a great lie. The lie that more money and greater acquisition will bring a greater quality of life. Bring more happiness and fulfillment.
The reality is that this is partially true to a point, but far from universally true.
Research conducted at Princeton and reported in Time Magazine, proves that people who make less than $75,000 per year seem to have more happiness as they raise their annual income closer to that $75K benchmark.
But once that benchmark is reached, no matter how much more they make, they report no more happiness; and in fact, sometimes diminishing happiness.
But this is false as well. Actually, only a partial truth based upon our faulty perception.
Please pay attention to the word “seem” above. I submit to you that it’s our expectations and programming that certain things are “necessary” for our own survival and comfort that drives this seeming increase in happiness.
One of the greatest causes of a lack of happiness and fulfillment is a life
out of alignment with our programmed expectations of how life should be.
When we stop focusing on how we think our life “should be”
we begin to enjoy what our life is!
When I was on Lake Titicaca in Peru, I visited what is known as the “Reed People.” These are families that live their entire lives on reed islands in the middle of the lake. Most are born, live and die and never leave their little island.
These families have slim to no creature comforts, living in small thatch huts (also made of reeds), and sustaining themselves solely on fish and water.
Our small group of hikers took them sweets; and we brought balloons, pencils, paper, and soap bubble blowers for the kids.
They responded, actually disrupted, in sheer joy!
I’ve seen children in California not get that excited over a brand-new BMW received for their birthday. It was “expected.”
Authentic happiness and fulfillment have nothing at all to do with your
petty desires, expectations, or entitlements. Authentic happiness and fulfillment
come from having the courage to define and live an authentic life!
Let’s please distinguish once again between the temporary spike of dopamine that most call happiness, from authentic happiness which is much more sustainable.
Since the word happiness is thrown around so haphazardly and inappropriately, I prefer to use the word fulfillment.
A fulfilling life can be sustained even in the middle of difficulties, challenges,
and the lack of always temporary positive emotions.
Fulfillment is what we all seek, whether we’re consciously aware of it or not.
So how do we find fulfillment in a disruptive world?
That’s the billion-dollar question now, isn’t it?
The simple answer is to recognize the prison and then begin the work of escaping it.
No simple task.
This is what we’ll be exploring in the next few weeks.
But for now, ask yourself this question;
If you can’t control your thoughts, habits, expectations, and desires, who or what is thinking and really in control?
Be a Leader, Live Your Purpose. And Take Your Power Back!
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