Director, The Institute for Global Happiness
3 Keys to Awesome
Scroll to the bottom of this post to watch an excellent TedTalk filmed September 2010 in Toronto (TEDxToronto 2010). The speaker, Neil Pasricha, Director, The Institute for Global Happiness, gives an amazing presentation and closes with 3 Key Secrets to leading a life that’s truly awesome.
Neil Pasricha is the New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness Equation and serves as the Director of the Institute for Global Happiness after a decade running leadership development inside Walmart. He is one the world’s leading authorities on happiness and positivity.
Why you should listen
In 2008, Neil Pasricha’s world fell apart after a sudden divorce and death of a close friend. He channeled his energies into his blog 1000 Awesome Things, which counted down one small pleasure — like snow days, bakery air or finding money in your coat pocket — every single day for 1000 straight days. While writing his blog, Neil was working as Director of Leadership Development inside Walmart, the world’s largest company. He continued working there when his books The Book of Awesome, The Book of (Even More) Awesome and Awesome is Everywhere were published and started climbing bestseller lists and shipping millions of copies.
Years later, he fell in love again and got married. On the airplane home from his honeymoon, his wife told him she was pregnant, and Neil began writing again. The result was a 300-page letter written to his unborn son sharing the nine secrets to finding true happiness. That letter has evolved into The Happiness Equation.
What others say
“Dale Carnegie was last century. Stephen Covey was last decade. Neil Pasricha is what’s now.”— Susan Cain, author of Quiet
I was born in Indiana and grew up in the country. There was a common phrase used for being stuck or paralyzed — “frozen like a deer in headlights.” Have you been frozen like a deer staring in headlights, not knowing how to snap out of the hypnotic trance that has overtaken your life?
We have two minds, one conscious and one sub-conscious (so-called).
The conscious mind is the mind that is awake and aware. The sub-conscious mind is responsible for automation — it takes care of things automatically, like breathing for example, it consists of our programmed actions and behaviors. The sub-conscious mind is always working, it never sleeps.
On one hand, that’s a good thing. Automation can make things easier. We all like things to be easier and automation does that for us.
However, the downside to sub-conscious automation is when the programming is bad it overrides the conscious mind in ways that may not be beneficial. Unless the conscious mind is aware of the automatic program that is running in the background, it cannot make corrections to things that may not be optimal for any given circumstance.
The conscious mind must wake up to become aware of what’s actually going on in the sub-conscious mind in order to make a correction.
So how does the sub-conscious mind get its programming in the first place?
The sub-conscious mind has basic code from the beginning that evolves over time based on actions and choices you have made in your life experience. These choices may be as simple as preferential behaviors to given circumstances. The sub-conscious mind takes note of how you respond and adds it to the automatic response program.
But what happens when you have automatic programming that no longer serves you well?
For instance, at some point in your life experience a particular response may have evolved to shield or protect you from feeling pain or a particular emotion. Then it may have been beneficial, but at some point you forgot about the reasons for the programming actively running in the background and you go about your life responding to situations based on the old program running automatically.
It doesn’t matter to the sub-conscious mind that you are not aware of its actions, it just keeps running on autopilot. The sub-conscious mind makes no judgment of whether or not the response is appropriate for your particular circumstance, that is the job for the conscious mind. If the conscious mind is unaware of the automatic programming, it is not actively governing its operation to make those judgment calls for the greatest good.
In the moments when we find ourselves immobilized… introduce powerful questions to the mind & our brain will shift into gear for finding answers. It will keep working until an answer is found, even when we’re not aware of it.
Questions are the gateway to getting unstuck! Questions are our key to having breakthroughs and opening up our thoughts of ‘Aha!’ Questions help you examine your life and get you in touch with what you want. Reframing disempowering thoughts as questions is an excellent way to instantly change how we feel. The right questions will put you back in the driver’s seat and direct your focus on solutions.