Soul Food for March 8th, 2013

Happy Soul Food Friday!

As you might recall from previous posts, I have committed this year in an immersive dive into our Happiness, Resilience, Wisdom and Wellness.

If these topics resonate for you, please keep sending the best you have got on these subjects, so I can share them with everyone…

Starting with Resilience, here is a story of Self-Preservation…

This is a story of self-control and marksmanship with an itsy bitsy pistol by a woman against a fierce predator.

What is the smallest caliber you trust to protect yourself?

Some say it is the Beretta Jetfire…

While out hiking in Alberta Canada with my husband we were surprised by a huge grizzly bear charging at us from out of nowhere.

She must have been protecting her cubs because she was extremely aggressive.

If I had not had my little Beretta Jetfire with me I would not be here today!

Just one shot to my husband’s knee cap was all it took…..the bear got him and I was able to escape by just walking away at a brisk pace.

It’s one of the best pistols in my collection.

From Crass Humor to Genuine Happiness

The Happiness Advantage-Change YOUR Formula for Happiness and Success:

Did you know that only 10% of your happiness is based on external factors. As a society, have we pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon?

Normal is the “psychopathology of the average” so don’t be normal, and try to keep up with the Jones’s, the Jones’s are NUTS!

Got this link from Jim Lin, former Acting Provost of Muir College at UCSD.  It features Shawn Achor is both informative and entertaining and singles out a key fact that success and work are intimately connected with how happy you feel.  

Well it turns out there Actually is a Happiness Formula (probably one of many)

I got this one from a 5 day immersive I did at The Chopra Center some years ago entitled, “Journey into Healing”

The happiness formula goes something like this:


Happiness = Set point + Conditions for Living + Voluntary Choices

These variables are not all equal


S is the Set point in the brain (50%)

Our brain mechanism is genetically encoded and wired during childhood

3 things can be used to change your set point:

    1. Drugs that alter neurotransmitters (with both transient + side effects) which explains the panoply of pharmaceuticals sold and self-medication practiced daily
    2. Cognitive reframing/therapy to reflect on one’s negative beliefs and rightly understand them (see below)
    3. Meditation (left pre-frontal cortex causes release of neuro-transmitters naturally with no negative side effects)

Cognitive Reframing/Therapy can be used to reflect on negative beliefs associated with anything that is keeping you from your bliss, using an A-E acronym to literally re-frame beliefs:

  • Adversity- Is this true? Generally not
  • Belief- Am I 100% sure? Generally not
  • Consequences- What does holding on to this belief do to or for me?
  • Disputing that belief- Who would I be without this belief? Name new self
  • Energy you release @ dispute- Positive statement of intention & outcome

C is the Conditions for living (external factors)

This only constitutes 10% of total happiness

–      Lottery: At end of 1 year back to set point

–      Tragedy: At end of 1 year back to set point or even stronger!

Darwin: “Adaptable Survival”

Voluntary choices (40%)

These are intentional actions done for either:

Personal Pleasure such as shopping, eating, sex, alcohol, entertainment, etc.

But pleasure exhausts…

Or Fulfillment

  • Meaning & Purpose, Creativity, Making Someone else happy builds spirit, is not exhausting and in fact is self-perpetuating of a virtuous cycle!

So to be happier, invest your time and energy changing that internal set point in your brain (worth 50% of your effort) and make those smart voluntary choices that create fulfillment (worth another 40%) and invest less time and energy trying to manage external factors (that only comprise 10% of your happiness anyway!)

Speaking of mindfulness, being present and meditative…

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find it necessary to slow things waaaay down, to settle into the minute, the moment, the now.

We are human “beings” not human “doings” but our actions don’t necessarily reflect this

These next two submissions, help us do just that…

A nice opportunity to center…


What we do, see, feel is reflected back to us

Click here

Can an optimism bias have unintended consequences?

 Animal Virtues

Truth be told, I am partial to dogs and this deck is a good example…

See it here

Thanks this week go to Larry H., Jim L., Deepak C., Michael F., NPR and You

Love you,
Mean it!


 “Follow your bliss and the universe will open
doors where there were only walls.”–Joseph Campbell

One thought on “Soul Food for March 8th, 2013

  1. Great post! I’ve benefited my entire life from having a happiness advantage, and have taught this material to college students for more than a year now. During that time I’ve witnessed firsthand how it changes individuals and the lives of entire families who adopted these principles. I recently started a project to share the happiness advantage with others through random acts of kindness. Check us out at to learn more about our project, and read about organizations who are realizing measurable benefits from employing Shawn Achor’s material. We’d love to hear from you.

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