Small Changes Ripple Outwards

I wanted to thank a friend of mine for sharing this video below. Only in the last two days did I write about the lessons I have learnt from my positive change project, claiming that the positive changes I have been making have changed my entire outlook and happiness levels. This presentation below, from a “Happiness” graduate of Harvard confirms my findings.

He explains that the following actions increase happiness, success and intelligence:-

    • Being grateful
    • Journaling positive actions
    • Exercise
    • Meditation
    • Random acts of kindness

My positive change project is certainly hitting all of those points. There is definitely something in all of this – check out the video…


5 thoughts on “Small Changes Ripple Outwards

  1. Thanks so much for posting this. It made my day. I’m working on increasing my happiness by shorting my job week, and this lecture just sums it all up.

  2. It all sounds great, but before swallowing wholesale i’d advise reading Chris Hedges’ Empire of Illusion — particularly Chapter 4, The Illusion of Happiness. A chapter summary here states, in part:

    The ideology of positive thinking serves corporate interests; the quack science of “positive psychology” mirrors it and serves them (115-19). Realism is regarded as an illness; people are encouraged to change their attitude, not their real circumstances. … Most positive psychologists belong to the 148,000-member American Psychological Association (APA), which has lent its services for decades to the military and intelligence communities to research and perfect techniques for interrogation and control” (128-29). Positive psychology, like the “New Industrial Relations” of the 1980s that was used by GM and Toyota, is an “assault on community and individualism” by an oppressive system of power (129-35). … Like celebrity culture, positive psychology “feeds off the unhappiness that comes from isolation and the loss of community” (137-38).

    I don’t want to negate the what’s good about this approach, but when i see a list like that at 10:40 in the video, saying The Happiness Advatage is “better secure jobs, better keeping jobs, superior productivity,” etc., i’ve got to wonder whose interest this discipline is serving.

    The techniques themselves — gratitude, attention, exercise, meditation, kindness — should serve as their own justification, without regard to any hidden corporate agenda. And gratitude for what we have should never blind us to possible improvements in the human condition, and the fact that many, many creatures, people included, have much less to be grateful for that we do.

    Be happy. But keep fighting!

    1. I know what you’re saying here. Maybe this guy hasn’t even thought about it from that angle, he’s just too happy!
      We could continue to go around in endless loops of conspiracy beyond time. If ones reasons for happiness are so that one can perform better at work, then maybe ones reasons for wanting to be happy are a little skew whiff. (unless you love our work, but then you’d be happy already) Perhaps if your desire to be happy is so that you can spread happiness, then maybe we’re onto something. I would maybe conclude though that surely, if you are TRULY happy, it doesn’t matter. I would certainly recommend that people delve a little deeper than a superficial happiness that ‘gets them through the day’.
      I thank you for offering an alternative angle, to view what could be a dirty little trick to get you to work harder for the man! Damn those cunning little swines! I’m gonna resign…. from being happy and swear at everyone. At least that way I’m an individual. Oh no wait, hang on, there’s loads of miserable people too….. arrrrgh, I’m lost! haha. Hope that’s cleared that up?!

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