Today marks the launch of my new 8-week online happiness program The Happiness Project. It’s based on the original 8-week program, started in 1992, and subject of the BBC science documentary How to Be Happy. I’ve called this online program The Happiness Project because it features every major principle and practice of my work. It’s my greatest hits album on happiness!
My original 8-week happiness program was tested by independent scientists, selected by the BBC science team, who verified it to be “a genuine fast-track to happiness.” This got everyone’s attention! Since that documentary, the world’s media has interviewed me countless times. I’ve kept a small archive of my favourite interviews, which include interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer for Good Morning America, and Michael Parkinson for the BBC.
Here is a selection of the questions I am most commonly asked as Director of The Happiness Project. These questions and my answers come from transcripts of various interviews over the years. So here it goes! Continue Reading
I was asked on a recent radio interview, “If you could take one book with you on a desert island what would it be?” I had no hesitation in answering. My desert island book is A Course in Miracles. I did add, however, that if I could also bring a desert island DVD (to play on my solar-powered computer) it would be the PBS series Power of Myth in which Joseph Campbell, the American mythologist, is interviewed by Bill Moyers.
My wife Hollie and I have recently been re-watching the Power of Myth series. It gets better with each viewing! We’ve just arranged a dinner next week with our friend Liz Trubridge, producer of the Downton Abbey TV series, to watch Continue Reading
In my interview with Jessica Dibb for the Enneagram Global Summit 2016 going on from June 7th to June 10th 2016, I explore the topic of happiness from both the soul and ego’s point of view. I also talk about The Happiness Contract, which is how the ego tries to deserve happiness: and I’ll introduce nine soul meditations for experiencing unconditional happiness and greater joy.
Here’s a sneak preview of what I will be covering.
The Happiness Contract is a term I coined, and wrote about in Be Happy, to explore your personal psychology about happiness. Your Happiness Contract exists beneath a pile of thoughts at the back of your mind. It’s just a metaphor, but its effects can feel very real. This contract is a statement of belief about how much happiness is possible, and how much happiness is too good to be true. It’s a personal agreement drawn up by your Continue Reading
In the course I often talk about the paradigms of happiness. A paradigm is a pattern of thinking based on concepts, values, and beliefs. Your happiness paradigm, that is, the way you think about happiness, is reflected in your speech and it arranges the shape of what you experience. Hence, your paradigm either opens you up or closes you off from a greater experience of happiness right now.
When I listen to people talk about happiness, I am listening for signs of six popular happiness paradigms. The first four paradigms are commonly expressed by people who believe that happiness exists outside them; the fifth paradigm is commonly expressed by people who believe that happiness exists inside them; and the sixth paradigm is adopted by people who experience happiness as beyond the duality of inner or outer. These people experience happiness as a quality of their essential self.
For each paradigm, I have included a “Red Flag” that highlights a possible block to happiness, and also a “Joy Mantra” that is designed to help you be more open to a greater experience of happiness now. Continue Reading
My training in psychology, with its almost exclusive focus on pain, is a very common story.
What you focus on most often becomes familiar, and what is familiar feels real to you. — Robert Holden, Ph.D.
It also reflects a tendency in our society to focus on negatives. Doctors, for instance, study illness, not health. Business leaders analyze failure, not success. Economists study cost, not value. Philosophers mostly debate original sin, not original blessing. Christians talk endlessly about crucifixion, not resurrection. Mental health organizations publish books on “Understanding Depression,” “Understanding Stress,” and “Understanding Bereavement,” but not on “Understanding Joy” and “Understanding Love.” Continue Reading