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Happiness, 1.11 (V) Week 1 Video 5 - Introducing the Seven Deadly Happiness Sin

[MUSIC] [SOUND] Hi there. Good to see you again. In the last video, we measured your happiness levels. In this video, I want to first talk about something I call The Seven Deadly Happiness Sins. I call them deadly sins, not only because they are very prevalent, but also because they make a serious dent in our happiness levels. Or to use the balloon analogy, they poke a serious hole in our happiness balloons. Here are the seven deadly happiness sins. Drum rolls please [SOUND]. The first sin is devaluing happiness, that is, even though we all want to be happy, and we want to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives, we often sacrifice happiness for the sake of other things. Now, you may find it surprising that people sacrifice happiness for other things, given how important happiness is to us. But wait till I present the evidence to you. As you will see, most of us sacrifice happiness not just once or twice, but multiple times a day, and then we wonder why we are unhappy. The second sin is chasing superiority. Many of us believe that the secret to happiness is being superior to others. So we start chasing superiority. We want to be the richest, strongest, fastest, most powerful, attractive, most famous, etc. As it turns out, chasing superiority is one of the biggest killers of happiness. As we will see in week two. It pokes a giant hole in our happiness balloon. The third sin is being needy, or its opposite, being avoidant. We all want to be in healthy, loving, nurturing relationships. But sometimes, this desire can be expressed in ways that are unhealthy. Many of us are guilty of being too needy. Being needy is not good for happiness, but neither is it's opposite. Being too avoidant or too asocial. We'll see why neither neediness nor avoidance is good for happiness in week three. The fourth sin is being overly controlling. Many of us feel that the reason we're not happy is because, my wife won't tell me how her day went or my husband doesn't know how to be nice to guests, or because my kids don't obey my orders or because the weather isn't as warm as I want it to be or my favorite team didn't win the soccer game or baseball game, and so on. As a result, we end up trying too hard to control other people or to control the outcomes that we want. And this in turn, lowers our happiness levels as we'll see in week four. The fifth and the sixth sins will be covered in week five. They are distrusting others and distrusting life, respectively. Both sins share the common theme of distrust. But one of them has to do with distrusting people, while the other has to do with distrusting the outcomes and events that happen in your life. Distrusting life means looking at your glass, and thinking that it is half empty rather than half full. It has to do with focusing more on the negative things in your life than on the positive things. As we will see in week five, both types of distrust lower happiness levels. The seventh and the final sin is unwillingness or inability to tap into something that one might call the source within. To understand what I mean by this, it will be useful to know that all of us have a source of happiness right within us. A source that is accessible to us at all times, if only we had the ability to tap into it. This source is the state of mindfulness, which is the ability to focus attention, but in a sort of a kind and non-judgmental way, on anything that we choose to. As we will see in week six, being mindful makes us happy. Or put differently, we're happy when we are in a state of mindfulness. Incredibly, this is true even when you're experiencing something unpleasant. Example. Your boss has just shouted at you, or you have just gotten into an accident Even in these types of situations, findings show that you're likely to be happier when you're mindful than when you're not. And yet, many of us are not familiar with the source of happiness. Or, even if you're aware of the word mindfulness, many of us are unwilling to try it out. Why? Because, as Dan Harris, the correspondent for ABC News and anchor for Nightline, notes in his book 10% Happier, it sounds too woo and mystical. As we will see however, mindfulness isn't too woo. In fact, it may be the single biggest topic of research in positive psychology today. And there's a good reason why, it may very well be the single most powerful determinant of happiness. Now It turns out that it's not just Dan Harris, but even his namesake, Sam Harris, who as you may know is an atheist and has a very sensitive [SOUND] bullshit meter, who also believes very strongly in the part of mindfulness and meditation to make you happy. Sam Harris talks about this in one of the best books that I've read in recent times called Waking Up. So, there you have it. The seven deadly happiness sins. This course is going to be structured around these sins. But I won't be talking about these sins alone. » [SOUND] » I will also be talking about two other things, habits and exercises. Specifically, after I talk about each thing, I will also talk about a corresponding habit. Then, I'll talk about one or more exercises that will help reinforce the habit and get rid of the sin. Think of each habit as an antidote to the sin. So basically, the structure will be as follows. First, I'll discuss a sin. Then, I'll discuss a habit to overcome the sin. And finally, discuss one or more exercises that will help reinforce the habit. How will you know if you're progressing well towards getting rid of a sin and reinforcing a habit? By practicing the exercises. One way to do this is by maintaining a journal. In the classes that I teach at the Indian School of Business and at the University of Texas, the journal is one of the required assignments. For this course however, I'm not going to make the journal a required assignment. But, I strongly urge that you maintain a journal if you can for the next six weeks til the course ends. Adios, and see you in the next video. [MUSIC]



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[MUSIC] [SOUND] Hi there. Good to see you again. In the last video, we measured your happiness levels. In this video, I want to first talk about something I call The Seven Deadly Happiness Sins. I call them deadly sins, not only because they are very prevalent, but also because they make a serious dent in our happiness levels. Or to use the balloon analogy, they poke a serious hole in our happiness balloons. Here are the seven deadly happiness sins. Drum rolls please [SOUND]. The first sin is devaluing happiness, that is, even though we all want to be happy, and we want to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives, we often sacrifice happiness for the sake of other things. Now, you may find it surprising that people sacrifice happiness for other things, given how important happiness is to us. But wait till I present the evidence to you. As you will see, most of us sacrifice happiness not just once or twice, but multiple times a day, and then we wonder why we are unhappy. The second sin is chasing superiority. Many of us believe that the secret to happiness is being superior to others. So we start chasing superiority. We want to be the richest, strongest, fastest, most powerful, attractive, most famous, etc. As it turns out, chasing superiority is one of the biggest killers of happiness. As we will see in week two. It pokes a giant hole in our happiness balloon. The third sin is being needy, or its opposite, being avoidant. We all want to be in healthy, loving, nurturing relationships. But sometimes, this desire can be expressed in ways that are unhealthy. Many of us are guilty of being too needy. Being needy is not good for happiness, but neither is it's opposite. Being too avoidant or too asocial. We'll see why neither neediness nor avoidance is good for happiness in week three. The fourth sin is being overly controlling. Many of us feel that the reason we're not happy is because, my wife won't tell me how her day went or my husband doesn't know how to be nice to guests, or because my kids don't obey my orders or because the weather isn't as warm as I want it to be or my favorite team didn't win the soccer game or baseball game, and so on. As a result, we end up trying too hard to control other people or to control the outcomes that we want. And this in turn, lowers our happiness levels as we'll see in week four. The fifth and the sixth sins will be covered in week five. They are distrusting others and distrusting life, respectively. Both sins share the common theme of distrust. But one of them has to do with distrusting people, while the other has to do with distrusting the outcomes and events that happen in your life. Distrusting life means looking at your glass, and thinking that it is half empty rather than half full. It has to do with focusing more on the negative things in your life than on the positive things. As we will see in week five, both types of distrust lower happiness levels. The seventh and the final sin is unwillingness or inability to tap into something that one might call the source within. To understand what I mean by this, it will be useful to know that all of us have a source of happiness right within us. A source that is accessible to us at all times, if only we had the ability to tap into it. This source is the state of mindfulness, which is the ability to focus attention, but in a sort of a kind and non-judgmental way, on anything that we choose to. As we will see in week six, being mindful makes us happy. Or put differently, we're happy when we are in a state of mindfulness. Incredibly, this is true even when you're experiencing something unpleasant. Example. Your boss has just shouted at you, or you have just gotten into an accident Even in these types of situations, findings show that you're likely to be happier when you're mindful than when you're not. And yet, many of us are not familiar with the source of happiness. Or, even if you're aware of the word mindfulness, many of us are unwilling to try it out. Why? Because, as Dan Harris, the correspondent for ABC News and anchor for Nightline, notes in his book 10% Happier, it sounds too woo and mystical. As we will see however, mindfulness isn't too woo. In fact, it may be the single biggest topic of research in positive psychology today. And there's a good reason why, it may very well be the single most powerful determinant of happiness. Now It turns out that it's not just Dan Harris, but even his namesake, Sam Harris, who as you may know is an atheist and has a very sensitive [SOUND] bullshit meter, who also believes very strongly in the part of mindfulness and meditation to make you happy. Sam Harris talks about this in one of the best books that I've read in recent times called Waking Up. So, there you have it. The seven deadly happiness sins. This course is going to be structured around these sins. But I won't be talking about these sins alone. » [SOUND] » I will also be talking about two other things, habits and exercises. Specifically, after I talk about each thing, I will also talk about a corresponding habit. Then, I'll talk about one or more exercises that will help reinforce the habit and get rid of the sin. Think of each habit as an antidote to the sin. So basically, the structure will be as follows. First, I'll discuss a sin. Then, I'll discuss a habit to overcome the sin. And finally, discuss one or more exercises that will help reinforce the habit. How will you know if you're progressing well towards getting rid of a sin and reinforcing a habit? By practicing the exercises. One way to do this is by maintaining a journal. In the classes that I teach at the Indian School of Business and at the University of Texas, the journal is one of the required assignments. For this course however, I'm not going to make the journal a required assignment. But, I strongly urge that you maintain a journal if you can for the next six weeks til the course ends. Adios, and see you in the next video. [MUSIC]


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