Happiness by Matthieu Ricard

One is not born wise; one becomes it

Why Yoga Is So Misunderstood by Ed and Deb Shapiro

Yoga has come a long way from its roots in the east. As it has become more popular in the west teachers have added their own twist – both literally & figuratively. In the process of becoming so widespread, however, it often gets misunderstood by both teachers and practitioners.

Dalai Lama and Richard Layard’s Happiness, Lessons from a New Science

At around the 55th minute the Dalai Lama is talking about the gap between the rich and the poor and reminded me of Richard Layard’s treatise in his book Happiness, Lessons from a New Science .

SUNRISE/SUNSET depicts nominal 24 hours spent by the film crew inside the residence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from the beginning of his day, which starts at 3 am, till sunset when the Buddhist leader goes to bed.


Happiness clue by Matthew Diffee

Happiness, Lessons from a New Science by Richard Layard. Part 4

Can we afford to be secure?

People dislike parting with almost anything (attachment!!). A loss hurts roughly twice as much as an equal gain helps. That is why people are so keen to avoid loss and so unwilling to incur the risk of loss.

It is precisely because people hate loss that we have a social safety net. The desire for security has been challenged by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and George W. bush. They stressed security can be dangerous. But it is what most of us desperately want! So it should be a major goal for society.

The fallacy of competitiveness.

Many people think we can no longer afford so much security. Why? globalisation. Complete nonsense. A nation can always compete becasue people will get paid according to their productivity.
If we want to make people more secure, we may have to accept lower pay than otherwise. That is our choice.

People want security in all the first 5 of our Big Seven sources of happiness:

  1. income: greater economic stability and better old age pensions
  2. work: unemployment is one of the worst things that can happen to anyone
  3. family life:  it can do serious damage to children if they grow up with a single parent, or who have 2 parents who fall out. What can be done? Compulsory parenting classes in school, which would explain what a huge task and responsibility it is to rear a child. Children born to single mothers have a high risk of criminal behaviour. That is why laws to permit abortion have greatly reduced the level of crime. For the happiness of our children we need more family-friendly practices at work and high-quality child care, priced in relation to income. Flexible working practices are an essential investment in a happy society, as are entitlements to parental leave. The Scandinavian countries are a model for the rest of the world, and this may be one reason why they are among the happiest. If families run into trouble they should seek early help e.g. Australia’s Triple P (Positive Parenting Programme).
  4. community: a high-turnover community is rarely friendly.
  5. health of mind : a good health care system is a key feature of a good life. Mental disturbance causes the greatest dissatisfaction with overall health. Depression causes more misery than poverty. We spend too little on mental illness compared with other diseases. Our priorities need a radical change.


William Cowper

Happiness depends, as nature shows,

Less on exterior things than most suppose.


So how can we gain control over our inner life?

Puppetji vs The Secret: humour & wisdom … GOLD!!

Hats off to Paul for introducing me to Puppetji – my most precious discovery in 2012 !! mwaahaahaaha GENIUS!!



Wisdom from Without by Muhammad Yunus 


Happiness, Lessons from a New Science by Richard Layard. Part 3

How can we tame the rat race?

We all want status – or at least respect. It is wired in our genes and is a major source of satisfaction if we get it (My view: whatever changes is not real).

The desire for status is utterly natural. But it creates a massive problem if we want to make people happier. It is a zero-sum game.

  • the fallacy of consumer sovereignty: consumers are also producers; if they work harder, they can indeed consume more but only at the sacrifice of something – their family life or their tennis or whatever… too much work and a distorted work-life balance
  • taxing pollution: taxes provide a standard cure for pollution – a tax on income from work will reduce work
  • taxing addiction: we get used to the higher standard of living
  • respect: we work to be respected by our fellows
  • performance-related pay: in most jobs there is no objective measure for performance; people are evaluated against their peers, which puts employees into a ranking. There has been an increase in stress due to growth of performance-related pay. Also, by upping financial incentives we diminish a person’s internal incentives to give of his best
  • advertising: a lot of advertising makes us feel we need something that we previously didn’t need. Overall effect is to make people want more. Sweden bans commercial advertising directed at children under 12. Pictorial advertising can have a negative effect on the happiness of those it pouts pressure on. It is not true that capitalism depends on advertising. It is true that less work would be done, but at the same time people would also want to do less work because they would want to buy less. So there would be no change in the balance between demand and supply of labour.
  • compete or cooperate? : we need a sensible balance. Scandinavian countries are among the happiest, they have the clearest concept of the common good.
  • risk-taking: as a society how much risk should we expect the ordinary citizen to bear?

True freedom, strength come when human will guided by God, pope says

The Pope actually says it !!!
“we also recognize that it is in heaven where God’s will is done and that the earth becomes heaven — a place where there is love, goodness, truth, divine beauty — ”


Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Man oh man you must read this book! The usual list of learnings will follow but for now suffice to say … I just had an aah ha moment! Filling in the blanks…. Humour works wonders too….