Happiness Animal

A man’s as miserable as he thinks he is _ Seneca

Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think _ Einstein


What is more sinister, materialism correlates with serious psychological issues such as depression, narcissism and paranoia, a correlation exposed by researchers Kasser and ryan, who published their finding in A dark side of the American Dream.


If you think about problems where you are now, you’ll still think about problems wherever you are until you are able to find freedom from being a passenger on your trains of thoughts, and until you are able to start driving the trains.

Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character.


Your beliefs stay alive when they go unquestioned and unchallenged.


There is no freedom of thought, but there is freedom from thoughts. It’s called awareness.


You are created to be you. The purpose of your existence is to be you well. The only way to be you well is to be honest. Truly you. 


A further cause of disconnection can be that we are not connecting with what we are saying or with the person we are saying it to.


Be kind. Tune up. In order to be kind, you have to learn to look after your own harmony first. Otherwise you will produce noise that’s unkind to you and to your neighbors


It is a fact that stress causes your body to produce the hormone cortisol which triggers inflammation. This inflammation causes a whole host of health problems.


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Keep an eye on your body language. Northeastern University, MIT and Cornell in a joint study identified four non-verbal cues that are often interpreted as untrustworthiness:

  • Leaning away from someone
  • Crossing arms in a blocking fashion
  • Touching, rubbing or grasping hands together
  • Touching oneself on the face, abdomen or elsewhere.


It’s only important that you are in the present moment right now, not drifting into thoughts of the future or the past. Thinking of the future can create anxiety; thinking of the past can create depression.


Friendly people make friends in a way that has nothing to do with the politeness and ‘how are you?’ of meet and greet small talk but in a way that has everything to do with authentic curiosity for the wellbeing and ideas of others. Friendliness, warmth and cheerfulness come as a package. Your voice is their sound. Your eyes and your smile are their light.


To love is to recognize yourself in another _ Eckhart Tolle


Appreciation benefits both the appreciator and the appreciated. As appreciator you feel freer, your blood pressure reduced and your parasympathetic activity increases. Parasympathetic activity is considered protective of the body as it helps the body rest and digest, and maintain a regular heartbeat. Studies by Rollin McCraty, Barrios-Choplin, Rozman, Atkinson, and Watkins show that when you appreciate, your parasympathetic activity imporves your hormonal balance and reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol as well as increasing the production of DHEA, the ‘anti-aging hormone’.


It is healthy not to confuse your identity with your belongings and not to let your belongings have more power over you than you do over them.


In a recent study gratitude was shown to boost not just health but also efficiency. How could gratitude do this? Because it makes us feel more complete. It allows us to let go of the idea that we are complete as individuals and to acknowledge that we need the help of others to exist as human beings.


If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion _ Dalai Lama


Two thousand years ago, Marcus Aurelius offered some wisdom to humanity that still helps me exercise tolerance in the heat of the moment: ‘Our anger and annoyance are more detrimental to us than the things themselves which anger or annoy us.’ That’s a good incentive to let things be.


There is generally much to learn before any judgement can be pronounced with certainty on another’s doings _ Marcus Aurelius

Instead of taking the shortcuts of your own learned evaluations, associations and abstractions of mind to dismiss others and their ideas, challenge what you sense with curiosity.


In a study of those who forgive quickly only 4% say they are unhappy. But not exercising forgiveness has disastrous happiness consequences. Professor of Sociology, Wes Perkins provides the stats: ‘the risk (of being really unhappy) more than doubles for those who can’t forgive.’

Forgiving frees you from your own bitterness. It frees you from demoralizing slavery to the thinking links of your mind.


Finish each day and be done with it. you have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenly and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitations, to waste a moment on yesterdays. _ Ralph Waldo Emerson


We’re all so afraid to let our true selves be seen and known. Why are we so paralyzed by what other people think? The greatest challenge for most of us is believing that we are worthy now, right this minute. Worthiness doesn’t have prerequisites. Here’s what is truly at the heart of whole-heartedness: Worthy now. Not if. Not when. We are worthy of love and belonging now. Right this minute. As is.


It’s the essence of noblesse oblige: sharing your authentic talents through a job that exploits them for the good of others. Noblesse oblige really means the responsibility to share who you are.


Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth sums up the importance of job titles and roles as nothing more than labels your ego collects like a kleptomaniac: ‘those who do not attempt to appear more than they are but are simply themselves stand out as remarkable and are the only ones who truly make a difference in this world. Their mere presence – simple, natural, unassuming – has a transformational effect on whoever they come into contact with.


Cultures are only habitual mind-sets with a lot of emotional attachment,’ said Brad Blanton. Social conformity makes you predictable, inauthentic, a slienced you. If you silence your truth, you can only lead a dishonest, unhappy existence. Exercise awareness in conformity to ensure you stay true to you.


There is nothing fearful except fear itself. It is not that we have fears in the daylight but that we have entirely created darkness for ourselves. If you can look directly at things they often cease to be frightening. It is not because things are hard that we lack confidence but things are hard because we lack confidence in the first place _ Seneca

Creating is the place where the human spirit shines its brightest light _ Robert Fritz


Courage is the acceptance of fear. Courage is to abandon social norms if your intuition says they are not your truth. Courage is consciously following your intuition. To be an individual while belonging to a family and wider social and societal group is the greatest courage of all.

You are taught to compare yourself against others, labels, roles, ranks in a society of competing egos.


The courage of vulnerability and humility is the courage to reveal your true nature to the world, exposing yourself with no protection of masks, roles or job titles. It is the courage of your innocence—your inner sense—without ego. Your ego is a creation of fear, created as part of your misguided attempt to protect your vulnerability from the world Exercising vulnerability is exercising the courage to connect with existence. You need to exist before you can create.


Ask what would the real you do if you stopped caring about what any other person thought of you? What other people think of you is none of your business. I remind myself of this essential truth by repeating the mantra of Gestalt therapist Fritz Perls:
‘I do my thing and you do your thing.
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations,
And you are not in this world to live up to mine.
You are you, and I am I,
and if by chance we find each other, it’s beautiful.’

Happiness Animal by Will Jelbert

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