Apply This Lesson From The World’s Happiest Man: Matthieu Ricard

HORIZONS frost-bitten-phil-koch

“For decades now I have been emphasizing happiness is a left brain function. There has been a push to get people to use more of their right hemisphere for creativity.

We all know the stereotype of suffering, tormented creatives. Well, perhaps there is a reason for the stereotype.

Personally, I am an advocate for whole brain learning and development. We use our whole brain and balance is important. As is lateral cross-hemispheric communication.

The Brain Grows As Any Muscle Does The More You Use It

Not only left-right, but up down, in and out. From our prehistoric brain to our thinking cap, the neo cortex.

There is discussion that we have many brains. A gut brain, heart coherence, that our cells, while specialized, all communicate. Unified Field Theory.

It is now currently understood  that our seat of emotions, heart and gut, may actually run more of the show than we have thought previously.

All very interesting and fascinating thinking Science catching up and confirming that which has been known for many, many years. I think it is exciting.

What You See Is What You Get

I have firmly maintained that how we direct our brains and what we focus on matters. Researcher have concluded that most people are visual. I believe that to be accurate. We all imagine and make images.

We may not be aware or conscious of these unless we are directed to pay attention. When tasked to make a mental image deliberately some complain they aren’t good at it.

I think they are they just aren’t that good at it deliberately. They haven’t used or conditioned their visualizing muscles, yet, to work for them when they want it to. It just does what it does.

We all talk to ourselves or listen to past prior conversations and voices in our head without being schizophrenic. This is a normal part of daily living. We talk to ourselves, inside and out loud.

What You Say Is What You Get

Here too we may or may not be that aware of how we speak to ourselves. We also let it run on and on without exercising the control over it we could. Mostly, because we don’t know we could.

95% of what we do is habitual, unconscious habits, patterns or repetitive behavior, We think the same thoughts, or most of them day in and day out.

We are routine and predictable in so many ways. We run on automatic and it is reliable. It does the same thing over and over. We don’t change it because it seems hard. It isn’t, it just seems that way.

What we say and how we say it to ourselves is governed mostly by the left front temporal lobe. We ought to pay attention to those who have said positive thinking is an important ingredient to feeling happy. We think and then we feel. We feel and we think.

Everything Originates In Thought

It is cyclical. If we begin to monitor our thoughts and feelings, what we imagine, what we say and speak to ourselves we can begin to alter how we feel and increase our ability to be happy and to be successful.

We CAN exercise deliberate control of our thought processes.

If you want to be successful you think, feel and act successful. THEN success will follow. If you want happiness you think, feel and act happy. THEN happiness will follow.

Sadly, most people think happiness follows money, things, specific people, events or circumstances.  It doesn’t. You be happy, you be successful, you be rich, you be healthy in mind first and then those things follow.

You Steer Your Mind As You Steer A Vehicle – You Are In Control

You get what you think about. What you see and say IS what you get. You act first THEN you get what you want. Go First! Everything first originates as a thought and then it becomes reality.

So I am going to add some information and quotes from an copyrighted ©Business Insider article on ‘the happiest man in the world’.  His name “Matthieu Ricard”.

Ricard is 69, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, born in France who has been called “the world’s happiest man,” because he participated in a 12-year brain study on meditation and compassion led by a Richard Davidson, a neuroscientist from the University of Wisconsin.

This researcher hooked up 256 sensors to Ricard’s head. These research scans found that when Ricard was meditating on compassion his mind was unusually light.

You Can Choose What To Focus Your Attention On

His brain produced a level of gamma waves,  linked to consciousness, attention, learning and memory, Davidson says has never before been reported in the neuroscience literature.

‘The scans also showed excessive activity in his brain’s left prefrontal cortex compared to its right counterpart, allowing him an abnormally large capacity for happiness and a reduced propensity towards negativity.’

This aspect is not new. Brain scans have revealed this previously. Happy people have more activity going on in this left region of the brain. This area of the brain is responsible most of our speaking and understanding language abilities.

This area ‘lights up’ when we talk to ourselves.

According to the article Ricard says he sometimes meditates for entire days without getting bored. He admits he’s a generally happy person but he feels the title “happiest man” is a media-driven overstatement.

What You Feel Is What You Get

He spoke with Business Insider at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His advice for how to be happy follows:

The answer is altruism. Thinking about yourself all the time is stressful, exhausting and leads to feeling unhappy. It is not about the moral high ground  but if you want to be happy, strive to be benevolent. That makes you and others feel better. Be kind.

Ricard says when your mind is filled with benevolence, it is healthy and can flourish. That means a better mental state which also means a healthier body. Plus, he said others perceive you as nice. He believes anyone can do this.

He encourages mental training, as I do. He compares it to training for a marathon. While one may not become an olympic champion there is a vast difference between one who trains and one who does not.

Healthy Mind Healthy  Body Comes From Conditioning

This is so very true of mental training our abilities. He maintains many things, benevolence, attention, memory, emotional balance, can be trained including happiness. So how does Ricard recommend you train your mind to be happy.

Start by thinking happy thoughts for 10 to 15 minutes each day. Instead of having fleeting happy thoughts, hold onto them. Concentrate and stay focused on the positive emotions.

Don’t let your mind wander. Keep it on happy positive thoughts and feelings. Just 15 minutes a day can be enough. Condition you mind by daily focused concentration on happy thoughts and feelings.

He says, if you do the training every day, even in as short of time as two weeks you can feel the positive results. If you practiced for 50 years, as he has, you can become a happiness pro.

GO FIRST!

The article concludes with UW researcher, Richard Davidson, stating that even 20 minutes of daily meditation can overall make people much happier.

*If you’d like to read the ©Business Insider copyrighted article, click the title link below to go to their website.

Use the link within the article to see the brain scans and get more tips from Ricard. I encourage you to visit and read this article:

A 69-year-old monk who scientists call the ‘world’s happiest man’ says the secret to being happy takes just 15 minutes a day

I thought you might like this. Benevolence, compassion, kindness, understanding. Much needed in this current day. From ancient to modern times the call to be loving, kind, to go the extra mile, help others in need and to be charitable has been emphasized.

Imagine We Followed The Golden Rule And Went The Extra Mile

It is good for the your soul of and the recipient. Help yourself by helping others. We can all be happier by what we do first. First, we think happy thoughts and we feel happy. First, we help others without expecting return.

What you want wants you! It can find you when YOU go first. Celebrate everything without reason. That is going first. Be grateful! That is going first. Do it and the rest follows. It doesn’t come if you wait for it. Act first, GO FIRST, and it comes to you.” Rex Sikes

Be thankful you have today to be thankful!

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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.

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