Wednesday, February 11, 2015

I am NOW 60 years OLD - How am I live LIFE to the fullest?

I am NOW 60 years OLD - How should I live LIFE to the fullest?
October 16th was my birthday. I had NOT post anything between my last POST till now. It is because I have been BUSY. I was working on getting my Pursuit Of Happiness social club going.
According to Action For Happiness:
For following are my NOTES and comments on How the Pursuit Of Happiness social club follow the TEN KEYS to HAPPIER LIFE according to the Ten Keys to Happier Living - Guidebook
The good news is that our actions and choices can affect our happiness.
What makes us happy has less to do with our money or possessions and more to do with our attitudes and relationships with other people.
Want to live a happy life and want the people we love to be happy too. Despite decades of economic growth we are no happier now than we were sixty years ago.
Re-think our priorities. A happier world is possible. Your actions really make a difference.
Ten keys to happier living.
GIVING: Do things for others
Helping other people is not only good for them, it’s good for us too. It makes us happier and can help to improve our health. Giving also creates stronger connections between people and helps to build a happier society. And it's not all about money - we can also give our time, ideas and energy. So if you want to feel good, do good!
Do three extra acts of kindness today. Offer to help, give away your change, pay a compliment, or make someone smile. Reach out to help someone who's struggling. Give them a call or offer your support. Let them know you care.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted ~ Aesop
What have you done recently to make someone happy or to help others?

RELATING: People with strong relationships are happier, healthier and live longer. Our close relationships with family and friends provide love, meaning, support and increase our feelings of self worth. Our broader social networks bring a sense of belonging. Take action to strengthen our relationships and make new connections.
Connect with people: Make more time for the people who matter. Chat with a loved one or friend, call your parents or play with the kids.
Make three extra connections today. Stop to chat in the shop, wave at a neighbour, learn the name of someone new.
People will forget what you said, people will forget
what you did, but people will never forget how you
made them feel ~ Maya Angelou
What helps you stay close to the
people that really matter?


Take care of your body
Be more active today. Get off a bus a stop early, take the stairs,
turn off the TV, go for a walk - anything that gets you moving.
Eat nutritious food, drink more water, catch up on sleep. Notice
which healthy actions lift your mood and do more of them.
Which ways of being active and healthy
? do you really enjoy?
Our body and mind are connected. Being active makes us happier as
well as being good for our physical health. It instantly improves our
mood and can even lift us out of a depression. We don't all have to run
marathons - there are simple things we can do to be more active each
day. We can also boost our well-being by spending time outdoors,
eating healthily, unplugging from technology and getting enough sleep!
Try to limit your sitting and sleeping to just
23 and a half hours a day ~ Dr Mike Evans “


Notice the world around
Have you ever felt there must be more to life? Well good news, there is!
And it's right here in front of us. We just need to stop and take notice.
Learning to be more mindful and aware does wonders for our well-being,
whether it’s on our walk to work, the way we eat or in our relationships.
It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past
or worrying about the future - so we get more out of the day-to-day.
Give yourself a bit of head space. At least once a day, stop and
take 5 minutes to just breathe and be in the moment.
Notice and appreciate good things around you every day, big or
small. Trees, bird song, the smell of coffee, laughter perhaps?
What do you notice about where you are
and how ? you feel right now?
Learning how to be still, to really be
still and let life happen - that stillness
becomes a radiance ~Morgan Freeman ”

Keep learning new things
Learning affects our well-being in lots of positive ways. It exposes us
to new ideas and helps us stay curious and engaged. It also gives us a
sense of accomplishment and helps boost our self-confidence and
resilience. There are many ways to learn new things throughout our
lives, not just through formal qualifications. We can share a skill with
friends, join a club, learn to sing, play a new sport and so much more.
Do something for the first time today. Sample sushi, try a new
route, read a different newspaper or visit a local place of interest.
Learn a new skill, however small. A first aid technique or a new
feature on your phone. Cook a new meal or use a new word.
As long as you live, keep
learning how to live ~Seneca
What have you learnt or tried out
for the first time recently?
“ ”

Have goals to look forward to
Feeling good about the future is really important for our happiness.
We all need goals to motivate us and these have to be challenging
enough to excite us, but also achievable. If we try to attempt the
impossible this creates unnecessary stress. Choosing meaningful
but realistic goals gives our lives direction and brings a sense of
accomplishment and satisfaction when we achieve them.
Take the first step. Think of a goal you're aiming for and do one
thing to get started. Make a call, fill in that form, tell others.
Share your dreams. Tell 3 people about an aspiration that is
really important to you this year and listen to theirs too.
A wise person knows which goals are
ultimately fulfilling and which offer
only the illusion of fulfilment ~Robert Emmons
What is your most important goal
over the next six months?


Find ways to bounce back
Ask for help today. Confide in a friend, talk to an expert, reach
out to a colleague, ask a neighbour to lend a hand.
When something is troubling you, do something you really enjoy.
Shift your mood and bring a new perspective on the problem.
What has helped you bounce back
from difficult ? times before?
All of us have times of stress, loss, failure or trauma in our lives.
How we respond to these events has a big impact on our well-being.
We often cannot choose what happens to us, but we can choose
how we react to what happens. In practice it's not always easy, but
one of the most exciting findings from recent research is that
resilience, like many other life skills, can be learned.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the
last of the human freedoms: to choose one's attitude in
any given set of circumstances ~Viktor Frankl

Take a positive approach
Positive emotions - like joy, gratitude, contentment, inspiration, and
pride - don’t just feel good when we experience them. They also help
us perform better, broaden our perception, increase our resilience
and improve our physical health. So although we need to be realistic
about life's ups and downs, it helps to focus on the good aspects of
any situation - the glass half full rather than the glass half empty.
Do something that you know will make you feel good. Listen to
music, watch something funny, get outside or call an old friend.
Try to smile and say something positive every time you walk
into a room. Notice the reaction you get.
Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you'll look
back and realise they were big things ~ Kurt Vonnegut
What good things have happened
in your life recently?
“ ”

Be comfortable with who you are
No-one's perfect. But so often we compare a negative view of ourselves
with an unrealistic view of other people. Dwelling on our flaws - what
we're not rather than what we've got - makes it much harder to be happy.
Learning to accept ourselves, warts and all, and being kinder to ourselves
when things go wrong, increases our enjoyment of life, our resilience and
our well-being. It also helps us accept others as they are.
Ask a trusted friend or colleague to tell you what they think your
real strengths are. Try to make more use of these.
Be as kind to yourself as you are to others. See your mistakes as
opportunities to learn. Notice things you do well, however small.
What are your greatest strengths
? or hidden talents?
Friendship with oneself is all important, because
without it one cannot be friends with anyone else
in the world ~Eleanor Roosevelt

Be part of something bigger
People who have meaning and purpose in their lives are happier, feel
more in control and get more out of what they do. They also experience
less stress, anxiety and depression. But where do we find meaning and
purpose? It might come from doing a job that makes a difference, our
religious or spiritual beliefs, or our family. The answers vary for each of us
but they all involve being connected to something bigger than ourselves.
Feel part of something bigger. Spend time with children,
visit an inspiring location, gaze at the stars or join a club.
Be more charitable. Give others your time, offer to help
neighbours or friends, consider giving blood or volunteering.
Which aspects of your life give you a
real ? sense of purpose?
Act as if what you do makes a difference.
It does ~ William James “

Use the Ten Keys to recognise what you
already do that is good for your happiness.
Try to build more of these ideas into your
approach to life and day-to-day choices.
For yourself
If you’d like any more information on any of these, please visit
our website or get in touch at
There are lots of practical ways to use the Ten Keys to Happier
Living in our everyday lives. Here are a few suggestions, but you
will probably have lots of other great ideas too.
Set up or join a local Action for Happiness
group and get together with others who
want to help create more happiness and
less misery in the world around. Use the
Ten Keys as the basis for learning, sharing
ideas and taking practical action together.
In an Action for Happiness Group
Taking practical action in our daily lives
Use the Ten Keys to recognise how your
work influences your happiness and how your
behaviour affects colleagues, customers and
others that you interact with. As a manager,
use the Ten Keys to identify practical changes
to create a happier team environment. Share
them with colleagues and get their ideas too.
At work
Share the Ten Keys with loved ones, friends
and neighbours and use them to think about
ways to improve well-being in your family
and community together. Look for practical
and fun steps that could make a difference
and help make your home and local area a
happier and more connected place to live.
Where you live
As a teacher, use the Ten Keys as the basis
for classroom discussions or school projects.
As a student, suggest them as a topic to study.
As parent, governor or someone else who cares
about the school community, encourage the
leadership team to make well-being a priority
and suggest the Ten Keys as a starting point.
At school
GIVING: Do things for others
Selected References
[1] Post, S. G. (2005). Altruism, Happiness, and Health: It's Good to Be Good. International Journal
of Behavioral Medicine, 12(2), 66-77.
[2] Fowler, J. H., & Christakis, N. A. (2010). Cooperative behavior cascades in human social networks.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(12).
[3] Piliavin, J. (2003). Doing well by doing good: Benefits for the benefactor. In C. M. Keyes, J. Haidt,
Flourishing: Positive psychology and the life well-lived. American Psychological Association.
[4] Uchino, B.N., Cacioppo, J.T. & Kiecolt-Glaser, J.K. (1996) The Relationship Between Social Support
and Physiological Processes. Psychological Bulletin Vol. 119, No. 3, 488-531.
[5] Huppert, F.A. (2008) Psychological wellbeing: Evidence regarding its causes and consequences.
State of the Science Review: SR-X2, UK Government Foresight Project, Mental Capital and Wellbeing.
[6] Fowler, J. H., & Christakis, N. A. (2008), Dynamic spread of happiness in a large social network:
longitudinal analysis over 20 years, British Medical Journal.
RELATING: Connect with people
[7] Biddle JH, Ekkekakis P (2005). Physically active lifestyles and wellbeing. In Huppert, F., Baylis, N.,
Keveme, B. (Eds.) The science of well-being. Oxford University Press.
[8] Babyak, M. et al. (2000). Exercise Treatment for Major Depression: Maintenance of Therapeutic
Benefit at 10 Months. Psychosomatic Medicine, September/October 2000.
[9] J. Thompson Coon, J., Boddy, K., Stein, K., Whear, R., Barton, J., Depledge, M. (2011) Does Physical
Activity in Outdoor Environments Have a Greater Effect? Environmental Science & Technology, 45(5).
EXERCISING: Take care of your body
[10] Davidson, R.J., & Kabat-Zinn, J. et al. (2003). Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced
by Mindfulness Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 564-570.
[11] Shaprio, S.L., Oman, D., Thoresen, C.E., Plante, T.G, & Flinders, T. (2008). Cultivating Mindfulness:
Effects on Well-being. Journal of Clinical Psychology,64, 840-862.
[12] Brown, K.W. & Ryan, R.M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in
psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 822-848.
APPRECIATING: Notice the world around
[13] Feinstein, L, Vorhaus, J, and Sabates, R, (2008) Mental Capital and Wellbeing: Making the most of
ourselves in the 21st Century, Learning through life: Future challenges, Government Office for Science.
[14] Hammond, C. (2004). Impacts of lifelong learning upon emotional resilience, psychological and
mental health: fieldwork evidence. Oxford Review of Education 30: 551–568.
[15] Feinstein, L., Hammond, C. (2004). The contribution of adult learning to health and social capital.
Oxford Review of Education 30: 199–221.
TRYING OUT: Keep learning new things
The Ten Keys to Happier Living are based on the latest
scientific evidence about what enables well-being.
Note: the first five of the Ten Keys are adapted from nef (2008) Five Ways to Wellbeing, part of the
UK Government Foresight Report on Mental Capital and Wellbeing.
DIRECTION: Have goals to look forward to
[16] Locke, E.A. (2002) Setting goals for life and happiness. In S.J. Lopez & C.R.Snyder (Eds.).
Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. NY: Oxford University Press.
[17] Wrosch, C., & Scheier, M.F. (2003). Personality and quality of life: The importance of optimism
and goal adjustment. Quality of Life Research, 12, 59-72.
[18] Schneider, S. L. (2001). In search of realistic optimism: Meaning, knowledge, and warm fuzziness.
American Psychologist, 56, 250-263.
[19] Reivich, K & Shatté, A. (2003). The Resilience Factor: Seven keys to finding your inner strength
and overcoming life's hurdles. NY: Broadway Books.
[20] Masten, A.S, & Wright, M.O. (2010). Resilience over the lifespan: Developmental perspectives
on resistance, recovery and transformation. Handbook of Adult Resilience, 213-237.
[21] Masten, A.S., Cutuli, J.J., Herbers, J.E. & Reed, M.J. (2009). Resilience in Development. In Eds:
S.J. Lopez, & C.R. Snyder, Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. NY:Oxford University Press.
RESILIENCE: Find ways to bounce back
[22] Fredrickson, B. L. (2009). Positivity: Groundbreaking research reveals how to embrace the hidden
strength of positive emotions, overcome negativity, and thrive. New York: Crown Publishing Group.
[23] Cohn, M. A., Fredrickson, B. L., Brown, S. L., Mikels, J. A., & Conway, A. M. (2009). Happiness
unpacked: Positive emotions increase life satisfaction by building resilience. Emotion, 9(3), 361−368.
[24] Garland, E. L, Fredrickson, B.L., Kring, A.M., Johnson, D.P., Meyer, P.S. & Penn, D.L (2010). Upward
spirals of positive emotions counter downward spirals of negativity. Clinical Psychology Review.
EMOTION: Take a positive approach
[25] Ryff, C.D., & Singer, B.H. (2008), Know thyself and become what you are: a eudaimonic approach
to psychological well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies 9:13-39.
[26] Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004).Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and
Classification. New York: Oxford University Press/Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
[27] Neff, K.D. (2011) Self-compassion, self-esteem and wellbeing. Social and Personality Psychology
Compass 5/1: 1–12.
ACCEPTANCE: Be comfortable with who you are
[28] Seligman, M.E.P. (2011). Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being.
NY: Free Press.
[29] Stegar, M.F. (2009). Meaning in Life. In S.J. Lopez & C.R. Snyder (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of
Positive Psychology. NY: Oxford University Press.
[30] Pargament, K.I. & Mahoney, A. (2009). Spirituality: the search for the sacred. In S.J. Lopez & C.R.
Snyder (Eds.) Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. NY:Oxford University Press.
MEANING: Be part of something bigger
Join the movement. Be the change
Happiness is a deep sense of flourishing, not a
mere pleasurable feeling or fleeting emotion
but an optimal state of being ~Matthieu Ricard

Action may not always bring happiness; but there is
no happiness without action ~Benjamin Disraeli “ ”

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My personal NOTES on Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness

At the Pursuit Of Happiness social club, once a month, we gather at Melrose bar and Grill and watch videos, discuss HAPPINESS. One session we discussed Dan Gilbert: The surprising science of happiness
The following are my NOTES on:
Subjective experiences such as happiness are important... and can be studied scientifically. 
Measure HAPPINESS: We can measure a person's subjective emotional experience. People can tell you with both words and actions what they are experiencing — what they are seeing, hearing, smelling, thinking, and feeling....  essential data on which the science of experience is built.
Just like an optometrist who can create a lens that corrects your vision. By having a report of your subjective visual experience, optometry would be impossible. No "objective test" — no eye test, no blood test, and no brain test — can provide this information.... people can reliably report on their subjective experiences and those reports can be objectively collected and analyzed. As long as people can say how happy they are at the moment you ask them, you can build a science of happiness....
People value many things — from the base to the sublime, from Belgian chocolate to marital fidelity — .... because of their hedonic consequences. 
Plato: When he asked us to think about what it is that makes anything good. "Are these things good for any other reason except that they end in pleasure, and get rid of and avert pain? Are you looking to any other standard but pleasure and pain when you call them good?" .... "positive hedonic experience" is what valuing means. We can't say what's good without saying what it is good for, and if you look at all the many things people think are good, you will notice they are all good for making people happy.
The experience of saving money is not the same as the experience of saving orphans.... Both experiences can be described as a set of locations on multiple dimensions, and one of those dimensions is happiness. The two experiences give rise to different amounts of happiness, but not different kinds. The reason the experiences feel so different is that they entail different amounts of happiness as well as different amounts of everything else.
.... Science is an attempt to replace qualitative distinctions with quantitative distinctions. e.g. hot and cold = manifestations of different amounts of molecular motion. oxygen and iron ....different amounts of stuff, namely, protons, neutrons, and electrons.... different subjective experiences contain different amounts of happiness, which is a basic dimension or basic ingredient of experience. Experiences (with) different amounts of happiness can feel as different as air and iron, as different as hot and cold. But if orphan-saving and money-saving feel different, that fact does not invalidate my claim any more than the different rigidities of iron and air invalidates atomic theory.
.... How well can the human brain predict the sources of its own future satisfaction?....  We are often quite poor at predicting what will make us happy in the future. 
1) disinformation about happiness: Genes and culture. Both genes and cultures are self-perpetuating entities that need us to do things .... Because we are interested in our own happiness.... both entities fool us into believing that's what is good for them is also good for us.... We believe that having children will make us happy, that  consuming goods and services will make us show that money has minor and rapidly diminishing effects on happiness, and that parents are generally happier watching TV or doing housework than interacting with their children....
So what happens if we try to disregard the genetic and cultural imperatives and just figure it all out for ourselves? What happens if we just close our eyes, imagine different possible futures, and try to decide which one would make us happiest?
Research shows that when people try to simulate future events — and to simulate their emotional reactions to those events — they make systematic errors. (We) take the ability to imagine the future for granted... this is one of our species' most recently acquired abilities — no more than three million years old. The part of our brain that enables us to simulate the future is one of nature's newest inventions, so it isn't surprising that when we try to use this new ability to imagine our futures, we make some rookie errors. The main error, of course, is that we vastly overestimate the hedonic consequences of any event. Neither positive nor negative events hit us as hard or for as long as we anticipate. This "impact bias" has proved quite robust in both field and laboratory settings.
.... we don't seem to learn all that much from our own experience. To learn from experience requires that we be able to remember it, and research shows that people are about as bad at remembering their past emotions as they are predicting their future emotions. That's why we make the same errors again and again. For example, in one of our studies, Democrats predicted they'd be devastated if Bush won the 2004 presidential election, and as we always find, they were not nearly as devastated as they predicted. But several months after the election, they remembered being just as devastated as they had expected to be. It turns out that this is a very common pattern of memory errors. Retrospection and prospection share many of the same biases and hence reinforce each other.
You may think that it would be good to feel happy at all times, but we have a word for animals that never feel distress, anxiety, fear, and pain: That word is dinner.
Negative emotions.... when people think about how terribly wrong things might go and find themselves feeling angry or afraid, they take actions to make sure that things go terribly right instead... We manipulate our children and our employees by threatening them with dire consequences, so too do we manipulate ourselves by imagining dire consequences. People can be so anxious that their anxiety is debilitating... Anxiety and fear are what keep us from touching hot stoves, committing adultery, and sending our children to play on the freeway. If someone offered you a pill that would make you permanently happy, you would be well advised to run fast and run far. Emotion is a compass that tells us what to do, and a compass that is perpetually stuck on north is worthless.
People make errors when (trying) to forecast their future feelings.... I can make up a story about why an affective forecasting error provides a selective advantage (e.g., I overestimate how bad I'll feel if my children die, hence I go to extraordinary lengths to protect them). But then you can make up a story about how it provides a disadvantage (e.g., I overestimate how bad I'll feel if I am rejected, hence I fail to ask women for sex). At the end of our story-telling we will have several stories and not a whole lot more. What we need, and what we do not have, is some principled way to calculate and then compare the costs and benefits of these errors.
... Errors are bad; it is better to be able to predict the future than not; knowing what will make us happy increases our ability to attain it....  We have great big brains that can foresee the future in a way that no other animal ever has... our own species could not just a few million years ago. Foresight isn't twenty-twenty.... in general it allows us to glimpse the long-term consequences of our actions and to take measures to avoid the bad ones and promote the good ones.
... variety is the spice of life... variety is not just over-rated, it may actually have a cost. Research shows that people do tend to seek more variety than they should. We all think we should try a different doughnut every time we go to the shop, but the fact is that people are measurably happier when they have their favorite on every visit — provided the visits are sufficiently separated in time.... If you had to eat 4 donuts in rapid succession, variety would indeed spice up your experience and you'd be wise to seek it. But if you had to eat 4 donuts on 4 separate Mondays, variety would lower your overall enjoyment. The human brain has tremendous difficulty reasoning about time, and thus we tend to seek variety whether the doughnuts are separated by minutes or months.... 
Even in a technologically sophisticated society, some people retain the romantic notion that human unhappiness results from the loss of our primal innocence. I think that's nonsense. Every generation has the illusion that things were easier and better in a simpler past, but the fact is that things are easier and better today than at any time in human history.
Our primal innocence is what keeps us whacking each other over the head with sticks, and it is not what allows us to paint a Mona Lisa or design a space shuttle. It gives rise to obesity and global warming, not Miles Davis or the Magna Carta. If human kind flourishes rather than flounders over the next thousand years, it will be because we embraced learning and reason, and not because we surrendered to some fantasy about returning to an ancient Eden that never really was.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pursuit Of Happiness - Go4IT

Today is my birthday. I am now 59 years old. Next year, I will be 60 years old. Sitting in front of the computer, working in a high stress consulting job, I am not as HAPPY as I WANT it to be. I am under a lot stressed.
Today, I am going start to find as much as I can about HAPPINESS and PURSUIT it. This BLOG is about my Journey IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. 
This BLOG is all about: