I’ve recently been researching the topic of self-regulation (or willpower to you and me) and it’s fascinating stuff. Let’s face it, most of us would like to have more willpower but are not sure how to go about developing it. Like many people who have taken the free VIA strengths survey to discover where your true strengths lie, self-regulation (aka willpower) comes fairly close to the bottom of the list. In future blog posts I will share some of the lessons I have learned about willpower. There are lots of fascinating and doable willpower tricks which I am really looking forward to teaching you. Meanwhile Happiness Experiment no 24 is to try a small willpower workout to build up your willpower muscle.
The Willpower Workout by Watchwellcast
Today we have a new Happiness Experiment to try for Valentine’s Day. Ditch the red roses and the boxes of chocolates. Research has demonstrated that showing gratitude to someone you love or to someone who has had a big influence on your life by writing them a letter and reading it out to them can give you a huge happiness boost. This great video from Soulpancake shows what happened to some willing happiness experimenters when they tried this research out. Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day and remember that Valentine’s Day does not need to be limited to romantic partners in your life – you can share your love and appreciation to anyone who matters to you.
The Science of Happiness – An Experiment in Gratitude
Posted by Shona Lockhart on 14th February 2014
Today’s interview in the series A life worth living
is with journalist and author John-Paul Flintoff.
To describe John-Paul as a journalist and author would be a classic example of British understatement, because John-Paul doesn’t just write he does other stuff too. A lot of stuff. Among other things John-Paul writes, speaks, sews, coaches, improvises, makes art and has life changing conversations with people. Here is a video of him talking about a life-changing conversation he once had. Enjoy the interview.
Conversations that change life: John-Paul Flintoff at TEDxStormont
A life worth living: John-Paul Flintoff
1. Your book “How to change the world” has recently been published in the US. What was your motivation in writing this book?
After writing a book about my own efforts to make change, Sew Your Own, I started teaching at The School of Life and saw how fantastic it can be to help others… Read the rest...
The Bucket List – Trailer
During my recent summer holiday in California my thoughts turned as usual to the question of why I don’t make time to travel more (an activity I love) and as always when on I am on holiday I began to ponder what would be the next places on my bucket list if I could choose to travel anywhere I wanted. This fascinating article by Laura Vanderkam (whose website and books are well worth looking at) argues that making a bucket list can be a great tool for changing how you live your life. Doing more of what you love makes complete sense to me so Happiness Experiment no 22 asks you to head over to the website BUCKETLIST.ORG and make a list of all the things you want to do, see and experience. It’s a great tool for tracking and achieving your life goals and it’s an experiment I am definitely going to try. Enjoy!
… Read the rest...
I have just returned from a wonderful summer holiday in the USA and have lots of happy memories to sustain me for the future. Research has shown that reliving happy memories is a great boost to your current happiness levels. You don’t need to go away on holiday to benefit from this as we are creating memories every day of your life. Happiness Experiment no 25 asks you to think of a happy memory from yesterday and relive it. This short video by Professor Richard Wiseman explains how this works:
Posted by Shona Lockhart on 26th August 2013
Happiness Experiment No 20 is: Get Enough Sleep. This should appeal to lots of people as for the little effort of going to sleep a bit earlier and relaxing more you will have great happiness benefits just by spending more time in bed. What’s not to like? This short video by Gretchen Rubin from The Happiness Project explains why getting enough sleep is much more important for your happiness than you might think. Give it a try and let me know how you get on:
Posted by Shona Lockhart on 22nd July 2013
Susan Cain’s fascinating book Quiet looks at the power of the introvert. Do you know where you are on the introvert/extrovert spectrum? Maybe you are an ambivert? Happiness Experiment no 19 asks you to take Susan Cain’s fun Quiet Quiz. There are no right or wrong answers and both personality types are equally positive but have different strengths. By recognising our personality type we are better able to live a life that is aligned with our true strengths. You can learn more about Susan Cain in her TED talk. Watch this brief animated video for a brief explanation of the differences between introverts and extroverts:
Posted by Shona Lockhart on 15th July 2013
“I don’t divide the world into the weak and the strong, or the successes and the failures… I divide the world into the learners and nonlearners.” Benjamin Barber
Professor Carol Dweck, one of the leading researchers on motivation, was in the UK this week giving lectures at both The School Of Life and the RSA. Carol Dweck’s highly acclaimed book Mindset looks at how our attitude to intelligence and learning can have a huge impact on our success in life. The book (read a review here) differentiates between people with a fixed mindset and a growth mindset and looks at the implications these attitudes have on our motivation.
Someone with a fixed mindset sees their abilities and personality as set. When they don’t pass a test, it’s because they don’t have the ability, aren’t smart enough, or another permanent reason. We would never say to a one year old toddler that if they can’t walk as far as the nearest table, it’s… Read the rest...
Happiness Experiment no 17 is: Act As If you are happy. It sound like a very simple idea but it is surprisingly effective. Professor Richard Wiseman explains the As if Principle in more detail in his latest book Rip It Up. You can get a quick demonstration of how tiny changes in behaviour can make a huge difference to your happiness by watching this short Cognitive Media video:
Why not experiment with the As If principle and let me know how you get on?
Posted by Shona Lockhart on 2nd July 2013