Just over a week ago I went along to the Happiness & it’s Causes Conference at Lunar Park here in Sydney.
W.O.W. E. E.
For three glorious days I completely immersed myself in insights, knowledge & hot tips from some of the worlds leading neuroscientists & experts on the subject of happiness.
And the things I learned are just too good not to share.
But…there was SO MUCH INFORMATION that I have been pondering how on earth I will share it all with you guys.
I seem to remember it was the same situation last year too J
So – like last year, I’m sharing my top quotes from the conference to inspire you with bite sized nuggets of wisdom!
12 Inspiring Quotes to evoke happiness
#1: “Inner peace is the ultimate source of a happy life”
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
The Western world places a major emphasis on obtaining happiness from external things such as money, success, fame and achievements, when in reality the only chance we have at happiness is by focusing on our own inner happiness. This means that we must say goodbye to our constant search for happiness based on outside conditions and learn to be happy with what we have (because there will never be enough!).
#2: “It’s like we have a Ferrari in our heads and nobody gave us the keys!”
We have unlimited potential sitting between our ears and yet we only use a very small portion of our brain! In-fact we allow our thoughts to rule our lives and then we blame everyone else when things don’t go the way we want them to. What we need to understand is that we can change our brains! Neuroplasticity means that we have infinite potential – we just need to choose which thoughts we listen to.
#3: “The idea that happiness is the natural state for humans in nonsense!”
Our natural state is not happiness but a steady flow of diverse emotions! Expecting to be happy all the time is unrealistic and not the way that we are wired. And what’s more, the things that make life enriched don’t always make us feel happy! (for example parenting provides deep meaning in our lives, but it certainly does not make us happy). There’s a misperception that if I’m not happy there must be something wrong with me. We must first change our beliefs about happiness in order to really be happy.
#4 Don’t waste one breath or a second thought about doing what you want to do!”
It is possible to go from being suicidal to following your ultimate dream in life! Policeman Alan Sparks went through this exact journey and what he learned was that nothing is worth sacrificing your dreams for!
#5 The average person spends 47% of their day doing something while they are thinking about something else.”
Susan Pearse & Martina Sheehan
As a race, we have lost the ability to pay attention! And it’s our presence of attention that leads to a happier and more fulfilling life. We receive an email every 5 minutes, check our phones every 4 minutes and 44% of people will even check their phone when they first wake up instead of saying good morning to their partner! People would rather have a mild electric shock than be alone without any devices for 15 minutes! It’s time to re-learn how to pay attention!
#6 “Creativity requires openness & curiosity.”
We cannot be creative while we are thinking of our ‘to do’ lists! We need to access a different part of the brain. NEVER try to be creative while sitting in an environment where there are distractions (emails, to do lists). Instead, go for a walk or take a shower (where there are no distractions!).
#7 “We need a balance between pleasure & achievement.”
There are X2 types of happiness: 1) pleasure in the moment (being) and 2) satisfaction through meaningful achievement (doing). Take note – understand which type of happiness you naturally lean towards? If you’re more achievement focused then look to increase the amount of pleasure you have in your life. If you’re too indulgent and lack drive to get things completed, then work on achieving more! It’s the balance between the two that creates happiness.
#8 “Happiness depends on what you decide to look for.”
The top X3 happiness killers are: 1) thinking about yourself too much (worrying what others think of you – people are not thinking about YOU they are too busy posting selfies!) 2) Thinking you’re special (leads to a belief that ‘life is unfair’ ) and 3) Trying to solve problems that can’t be solved! Instead of focusing on problems that are out of our control, we must decide to focus on the good things in our lives.
#9 “I’ve learnt more from my failures than my successes”
The higher part of me knows that it’s not about success but what I can learn from my experiences. It’s not about continually examining the past but about cutting the cord and realizing that every day I have the opportunity to create a new life and be re-born!
#10 “We’re better off trying to be ‘happier’ than to be ‘happy’”
‘Being happy’ is such a lofty, abstract thing to aim for. Instead we should aim to settle to be happier! Some quick tips for more happiness are: 1) get enough sleep! (8 hours), 2) get regular exercise (15 mins per day) 3) jump up & down for a quick boost! 4) sing in the morning! 5) challenge yourself 6) try something new! 7) make the bed! 8) implement the 1 minute rule where anything you can do in 1 minute – you just do it straight away 9) get to know yourself better 10) build your relationships by asking loved ones about the small things in their lives.
#11 “Comfort has become the new normal. We are out of practice with feeling discomfort.”
Robert Biswas –Diener
We live in an era of unprecedented comfort. We have more ability to control our environment than ever before and yet we are unhappy. We have made natural emotions such as anger & frustration a taboo subject. Yet, we often take the most meaning from difficult situations in our lives. We can withstand negative emotions and this is what what makes life worth living!
#12 “Know your own thoughts and emotions”
Venerable Robina Courtin
Human beings tend to either 1) vomit out their feelings (through anger & frustration) or 2) repress them. Both of these situations are ultimately driven by attachment. When we attach to something, we assume that the attainment of that thing will make us happy. But this is a lie! And the trap that we fall into. Only by being more aware of what we attach to and unhooking from those attachments can we have a shot at happiness.
Phew! That’s it for now!
As always, there was a beautiful blend of science with inspiring personal stories this year.
It’s one of those events where you’re just left thirsty for more knowledge (even though you have spent 3 days solid soaking it up like a sponge)!
I really enjoyed the new Wellness Show too this year where where some of the speakers had stands, plus there were some great local health & wellness initiatives.
And so…as the wisdom from the conference slowly seeps in, I wonder which of these tips I’ll integrate into my life first.
I don’t know about you, but I like the idea of taking the pressure off a little. Being OK with failure…taking a step back from 24/7 happiness…and settling for being, well…just a little happier.
After-all – it’s the most challenging moments in our lives that provide the most meaning.
So onward we go!
Zoe B x
PS: Which tip resonated with you the most? I’d love to hear in the comments below 🙂
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I just love: “It’s like we have a Ferrari in our heads and nobody gave us the keys!” Isn’t that just it! Thank you for sharing these, Zoe, and I’m eager to hear your insights from the conference over the next weeks!
Isn’t that such a great quote! I have to say Ruby Wax was absolutely hilarious…and very insightful. Such a good combo! 🙂