What 7 Experts Say about Happiness (including the Dalai Lama)
Ever wondered what the experts say about making ourselves (and the world) happier?
That’s what I wanted to know. So I attended the Power and Care conference in Brussels this weekend.
The Dalai Lama was there, together with his band of fans.
The experts discussed how to make the world a happier, more caring and peaceful place to be.
Here’s some things the conference panelists shared.
Let’s start with a person described as the world’s happiest man alive! Matthieu emphasised the importance of cultivating wisdom and compassion, before seeking to exert power and influence over others.
Matthieu’s Tip: Reflect on the difficulties others are facing. Wish that suffering reduces and take action to make that wish into a reality too. (check out his latest book on Altruism.)
Prof. Johan Rockström
Johan is an expert on the environment. He shared the reason why humanity developed so much over the last 10,000 years - because the earth has ‘recently’ left lots of climatic change. But we’ve now made so many radical changes to the earth’s resources, we are facing massive uncertainties.
Johan’s Tip: Environment needs to be our number 1 priority, above economic or social reform. Without the environment cared for, we’re in big trouble! See his TED talk and think about what you could do.
Prof. Tania Singer
Tania Singer is running a major research study in Berlin called the Resource Project. She’s found that different meditations have different effects on the brain. For example, although mindfulness increases focus, it doesn’t develop much compassion or altruism. And she’s also discovered reflecting on ‘perspective taking’ as a meditative process that has unique benefits too.
Tip: Practice a range of different meditations - they’ll have different effects on your brain.
Prof. Dennis Snower
Dennis is developing a new field in economics called Caring Economics. The current economic system is based on a flawed idea - that humans are all selfish and only think about themselves. It’s also based on the idea that unlimited economic growth is sustainable for the planet - it obviously isn’t as the earth is a limited resource.
Tip: Research Caring Economics. Think about how you can collaborate more with others in your work.
Frederic has researched and written a fascinating book called ‘Reinventing Organisations’. We hope to have him speak at one of our conferences in the future. He looked at hundreds of organisations and found some, of different sizes, that are self-organising rather than hierarchical in structure.
Tip: There are many examples of ordinary people standing up and making positive transformations in society, just like Mother Teresa or Gandhi or Jodie Williams did. Step up into your power and stand for a better world.
Scilla has been working toward peace on the earth and nuclear disarmament. She has taken the time to speak to people who design, develop, engineer and approve the funding for nuclear arms. More recently she’s even been experimenting with getting groups of people to meditate underneath rooms where nuclear discussion take place, with positive results! Fascinating.
Tip: Try finding organisations that are standing for peace, and join them. Like PeaceJam for example.
The Dalai Lama called for the 21st century to be a century of compassion.
We have over 7 billion people living on earth. Let’s live harmoniously. We can only do this through proper education, and teaching values in education. Women are naturally more compassionate than men, and the Dalai Lama is hoping that women have a bigger role in moving to a more compassionate world.
Dalai Lama’s tip: The Dalai Lama stated that compassion and warm-hearted lies at the centre of a happier life and happier world. He thinks it’s each person’s responsibility to create a happier world too. We each need to make a determined effort. If you think this world is okay as it is, then don’t do anything. But if you feel there is much suffering, inequality and problems that need fixing in the world, think about what you need to do to make you and the world a happier place.
Join us at the international Happier World Conference where we explore and discuss these issues on Saturday 5th Nov 2016 in London, UK with the world’s leading changemakers.