Hector and his 23 Observations about Happiness!

Hector and the Search for HappinessI watched ‘Hector and his Search for Happiness’ movie on a recent flight and loved it! It’s about a psychiatrist who feels guilty of dispensing recommendations to his patients that never change their conditions or make them any happier. So he sets out on a journey to find what makes people happy. It’s quite funny, interesting and inspiriting. During his ‘research’ he makes the following 22 observations:

  1. Making comparisons can spoil your happiness***
  2. Happiness often comes when least expected
  3. Many people only see happiness in their future
  4. Many people think happiness comes from having more power or more money
  5. Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story
  6. Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains***
  7. It’s a mistake to think that happiness is the goal***
  8. Happiness is being with the people you love; unhappiness is being separated from the people you love
  9. Happiness is knowing that your family lacks for nothing
  10. Happiness is doing a job you love***
  11. Happiness is having a home and a garden of your own
  12. It’s harder to be happy in a country run by bad people
  13. Happiness is feeling useful to others***
  14. Happiness is to be loved for exactly who you are (People are kinder to a child who smiles)
  15. Happiness comes when you feel truly alive***
  16. Happiness is knowing how to celebrate***
  17. Happiness is caring about the happiness of those you love***
  18. Happiness is not attaching too much importance to what other people think
  19. The sun and the sea make everybody happy***
  20. Happiness is a certain way of seeing things
  21. Rivalry poisons happiness
  22. Women care more than men about making others happy
  23. Happiness means making sure that those around you are happy

*** These are my favourites. Which one is yours?

“When I grow up I want to be happy, just like I am now.”

Wow, one of the best TED videos I’ve ever watched!

In this inspiring 11-minute video, mature-beyond-his-years teenager, Logan LaPlante, explains why he thinks youth should be taught to be happy and healthy, and how “hacking” his education to follow his dream is helping him do just that.

And with over 270,000 views on YouTube since his talk was published in February, I think he’s on the right path to inspiring other people to do the same.

Action for Happiness!

greatdream_full_400Just found this great website dedicated to our favorite topic, happiness. In their own words: Action for Happiness is a movement for positive social change. We’re bringing together people from all walks of life who want to play a part in creating a happier society for everyone.

Check it out for facts, tips, resources and action steps for creating happiness for yourself and those around you. This is one of the posters that you can download from the site.

“Western neuroscience has now confirmed what Eastern wisdom has known for a long time: happiness is a skill we can learn. Research shows that happiness, compassion and kindness are the products of skills that can be learned and enhanced through training, thanks to the neuroplasticity of our brains.”

For daily tips and resources on happiness, motivation and success, also check out Dinchack Facebook page :)

As happy as possible – by Leo Babauta

Reblogged from mnmlist.com – one of my favorite blogs about minimalism.

“I believe I’m as happy as it is possible to be.

I’m not crying out in ecstatic pleasure, or streaming tears of joy, but I am very happy. It’s not a peak of happiness, but a plateau of happiness that can go on for as long as I live.

This is a happiness I wish on everyone alive. The question then is, what are the factors that contribute to my happiness?

Here’s what I don’t have:

  1. A huge house
  2. Massive wealth
  3. Fancy clothes
  4. A nice car
  5. A powerful job
  6. Cable TV

And I don’t believe having any of those would contribute to greater happiness than I already have. Here’s what I do have that contribute to my happiness:

  1. Time
  2. Loving relationships
  3. Meaningful work
  4. Health
  5. Books
  6. Enough

The first six are seen as the goals of society by many people. The second six make me very happy, and I believe I have them because I decided to forgo the first six. I recommend this path.”

Read more about happiness in my new book: Dhinchak Life

4 reasons why today is your best day!

A piece from “Today is Your Best Day” by Roy Lessin:

It’s not your best day because you feel like it is, or because you prevent that it is. It is not your best day because everything is going perfectly, or because you are living in ideal circumstances. It is not your best day because you are in optimum health, or because everything is going you way.

Here are four reasons why today is your best day:

  1. Today is your best day because you are here. God has placed you in this moment of time for a purpose, and the things that happen to you today will be an unfolding of that purpose.
  2. What happened to you yesterday, however easy or difficult, was used by God to help prepare you for what he has for your today.
  3. God will use what happens today to prepare you for what he has for you in future days.
  4. God has used your past and worked it all together for the good, and he will use this day to add to the good that he has already worked on your behalf.

God doesn’t make bad days for your and good days for you. God makes each day fit perfectly into his plans for you.

[Photo of sunrise from one of the McLehose Trails in Hong Kong]

Read more inspiring pieces in my new book, Dhinchak Life

8 Happiness Facts

I just read these interesting facts on Action for Happiness site:

  1. Our happiness is not set in stone: Although our genes influence about 50% of the variation in our personal happiness, our circumstances (like income and environment) affect only about 10%. As much as 40% is accounted for by our daily activities and the conscious choices we make. So the good news is that our actions really can make a difference.
  2. Optimism helps us achieve our goals: Research shows that people who are optimistic tend to be happier, healthier and cope better in tough times.
  3. Positive emotions make us more resilient: Our emotions affect our long-term well-being. Research shows that experiencing positive emotions in a 3-to-1 ratio with negative ones leads to a tipping point beyond which we naturally become more resilient to adversity and better able to achieve things.
  4. Happiness is contagious: Our happiness influences the people we know and the people they know. Research shows that the happiness of a close contact increases the chance of being happy by 15%. The happiness of a 2nd-degree contact (e.g. friend’s spouse) increases it by 10% and the happiness of a 3rd-degree contact (e.g. friend of a friend of a friend) by 6%. [Related post]
  5. Together we’re stronger: Having a network of social connections or high levels of social support has been shown to increase our immunity to infection, lower our risk of heart disease and reduce mental decline as we get older. Not having close personal ties has been shown to pose significant risks for our health.
  6. Happier people live longer: Happiness doesn’t just feel good. A review of hundreds of studies has found compelling evidence that happier people have better overall health and live longer than their less happy peers. Anxiety, depression, pessimism and a lack of enjoyment of daily activities have all been found to be associated with higher rates of disease and shorter life spans. [Related TED video]
  7. Happiness is a skill you can learn: Western neuroscience has now confirmed what Eastern wisdom has known for a long time: happiness is a skill we can learn. Research shows that happiness, compassion and kindness are the products of skills that can be learned and enhanced through training, thanks to the neuro plasticity of our brains.
  8. Happiness leads to success: Most people think that if they become successful, then they’ll be happy. But recent discoveries in psychology and neuroscience show that this formula is backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around. When we’re positive, our brains are more motivated, engaged, creative, energetic, resilient, and productive.

I was a bit surprised to read about genes contributing up to 50% of our happiness, and have started reading some more about it, but the rest of the facts seem to support most of my views and other posts about happiness. What’s your take on the above?

The best tips on productivity, motivation and dealing with depression

I recently had the privilege of connecting and interacting with one of the happiest and most successful people I’ve ever known. He started as a salesman and built one of the biggest direct sales companies in the region. I always admired how he found time for leisure and everything else that he enjoyed doing, even during the busiest times of his business. He retired early and rich, while the company runs on the systems he had built. In the following note, he shared with me his thoughts on motivation, productivity and dealing with depression:

Books: Two books that helped me greatly are:

  1. How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World by Harry Browne
  2. The Happiness Purpose by Edward De Bono

And my favorite now for ageless wisdom is The Portable Thoreau edited Carl Bode.

Work Habits: 

  • Keep a ‘time diary’ for 10-30 days. Log everything you do from wake-up to sleep – every phone call, every meeting, every cup of coffee. Review and you will find there is much wasted and unproductive time, which could be spent constructively on work or quality leisure. Make the adjustments.
  • Do jobs IMMEDIATELY and FINISH them.

By doing these two things I accomplished the same in one third of the time than most people! Now I am stress-free and have lots of leisure. Continue reading