The Secrets of Wellbeing Series – Part 4: Does More Choice Make us Happier?

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Does more choice make us happier?
This is the question that drives Barry Schwartz, professor of psychology at Swarthmore College.


For example, yesterday I went to the supermarket to get some olive oil. There wasn’t just one brand. There were many different options: cold pressed, virgin, light, from Italy, from Greece, from New Zealand. In fact, there were over 30 different options for me to choose from. 

Secrets of Wellbeing Series — Part 3: Future happiness? Why we get it so wrong.

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Let’s imagine that you find an ancient lamp, give it a rub – and out pops a genie. “You can wish for three things which will make you happy,” he booms.

What would you wish for?

I’m sure that if I met a genie, I’d make some great choices! You too?

Well, we might both get it wrong.

According to Daniel Gilbert,

What are Your Signature Strengths?

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By Mary Jaksch

Do you find life exhausting and frustrating? Or is it easy and exhilarating? The difference between the two experiences may hinge on something simple: whether or not your life is aligned to your signature strengths.

Signature strengths are the things we like doing and are good at. For example, I love learning; it excites me!

We find more happiness and satisfaction in our life if it is aligned with our signature strengths.

Secrets of Wellbeing Series — Part 1: Authentic Happiness

By Mary Jaksch

This is the first of a seven-part series on the Secrets of Wellbeing. The reason I’m launching into this series is because I’m excited about what is happening in the field of psychology and how new research supports ancient teachings.

A new direction called Positive Psychology has started to take centre stage. Instead of looking at problems and how to fix them, Positive Psychology investigates what allows us to experience life at its best.

Do You Have to Crawl Throught the Desert to get Enlightened?

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A Zen student asked me recently, “Why does it take so long attain enlightenment? Do we have to crawl through the desert to get there?”

The problem of ‘attaining’

If you think of attaining something, the world breaks into two: on one side is the person who is striving to attain something, and on the other is the object that he or she is striving for.

What Would You do With Your Life if You Could do Anything?

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Life is short. In fact, it seems to rush by faster and faster. Many people give up on developing new dreams. And yet life is full of possibilities at every moment. I think it’s important to pack life with living to make it really juicy! My goal is to be able to lie on that last hospital bed and think, ‘Yes! I REALLY lived this life!’

The Secret of Feeling Grounded

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To feel grounded, it’s important to touch the earth.

Have you ever wondered why full prostrations are a ritual in many world religions? One of the reasons is that something important happens when we bow down and touch the ground with our body: We pour ourself into the earth and into the sky. And this outpouring makes us feel grounded.

Here are some ways to feel grounded:

  • Sitting on the ground

Most people sit on chairs or on sofas,

10 Must-read Articles on Authentic Happiness

Photo by Jeff Kubina>
Do you want to feel happier?

Here is a selection of articles that will help you to feel happier in life:

Authentic Happiness

What Are Your Signature Strengths?

15 Questions That Reveal Your Ultimate Purpose in Life

5 Ways to Make Your New Year Resolutions Stick

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To effect lasting change, you need to access the total power of mind and body.

Here are five ways to use your inner power to make your New Year’s resolution stick.

The first and most important point is that in order to stick, resolutions need to be embedded in a life plan. Because change won’t happen unless you have a good sense of where you want to go.

Are Some Things too Hard to Forgive?

By Mary Jaksch

Are there things you find too hard to forgive? The following story of Peter and Linda Biehl is a wonderful example of what compassion and forgiveness can achieve.

In 1993 their daughter, Amy Biehl, an 26-year-old Fulbright Scholar, went to South Africa to work in underprivileged communities. Shortly before the end of the apartheid era, Amy Biehl was stoned and knifed to death by a crowd of young blacks.