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In this episode we discuss the paradox of happiness - why pursuing it makes you less happy, and what you can do about it, we dig into the research about what really makes people happy, we break down happiness into its essential components and discuss how to cultivate it, we look at the interaction between stress and recovery and why most people look at it the wrong way, why active acceptance and surrender is critical to processing and dealing with negative emotions and much more with Dr. Tal Ben Shahar.
Dr. Tal Ben Shahar created the most popular course in Harvard University’s history, he is the best-selling author of several books including The Pursuit of Perfect, Happier, Choose The Life You Want, Even Happier. He’s also the co-founder and chief learning officer of The Wholebeing Institute, Potentialife, Maytiv, and Happier.TV.
We discuss:What science shows is the The #1 Predictor of HappinessHow the direct pursuit of happiness can actually prevent you from being happy and makes you less happyOne of the most robust findings in the field of psychology research is about what creates happinessThe paradox of happiness - why pursuing it makes you less happy, and what you can do about itWhy the expectation that you should be happy all the time is a barrier to your own happinessThe “hamburger model” and how it can transform the way that you live your lifeThe lens that we can use to understand all of our “happy” experiencesHow Tal defines “happiness” as the intersection of meaning and pleasureWe discuss what The BEST predictor of your future behavior isWhy awareness is a critical first step to cultivating happinessWe dig into the research about what really makes people happyWhy money has very little to do with happiness (according to the research)The vital importance of cultivating healthy relationshipsWe discuss the blue zones where people live the longest in the world and why these people live longer than anyone elseThe critical importance of physical exercise on your psychological wellbeingHow to trigger a release of the “feel good” chemicals in your brain (norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin)How happiness helps you be healthier, more creative, gives you more energy, and makes you more productiveStrategies for indirectly pursuing happinessThe only 2 types of people who do not experience painful emotions (are you one of them?)How experiencing and accepting negative emotions can paradoxically improve your happiness Why active acceptance and surrender is critical to processing and dealing with negative emotionsHow perfectionism can create self sabotage and unhappinessThe critical distinction between healthy perfectionism and unhealthy perfectionismThe vital importance of accepting criticism and how refusing to accept criticism hamstrings youAdaptive vs maladaptive perfectionism and why its important to know the difference The interaction between stress and recovery and why most people look at it the wrong wayWhy stress isn’t bad and in fact can be very good for - but with a very important caveat How the concept of weight lifting can help us better understand and manage stress in our livesHow recovery is vital to your productivity, health, and happin