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Grow Your Happiness Community

Lesson 7 from: FAST CLASS: The Power of Happiness

Vanessa Van Edwards

Grow Your Happiness Community

Lesson 7 from: FAST CLASS: The Power of Happiness

Vanessa Van Edwards

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Lesson Info

7. Grow Your Happiness Community

Lesson Info

Grow Your Happiness Community

Today we're talking about community, how our happiness goes beyond just us. And actually, leading in from our cause, some of you have causes that are with other people, right? Directly working with other people. So there's a reason why I decided to continue that cause champion into this discussion of what is our effect on others? How can we gift happiness to people in our lives? Happiness really is a social beast, it cannot be done alone. No matter how many of these exercises and activities you do, you really cannot complete this happiness journey without involving other people, the right kind of people in your life. This is also about creating a happiness support system. Right, yes, rebuild your happiness structure and every pillar makes you more supported. But also every person you bring into your happiness structure, makes that not just a bare building, but a beautiful home. Right, that's the decoration of your building. And lastly, how do we build your happy community beyond just h...

ere, beyond your Facebook group and Twitter group at home? So as always, I have a little bit of a warmup, so I want to get your cards ready, please. And at home, you can play this along with us, just raise one of your hands. You can get cards and play with me if you'd like. All right, so are you ready? We're gonna do a couple together. These are harder. We're gonna play would you rather. So would you rather be a dog for a day or be a cat for a day? I want you to find someone with your color and give them a high five. Find someone with your color, give them a little high five. Find your people. Find your people, all right. Let's try it one more time. Would you rather be able to fly or be able to time travel? Oh, red came right up. High five year person, high five your person. Find your color, high five your person. (laughs) You can wave to them too, if they're too far away. Would you rather take a European sight seeing vacation or take a relaxing Caribbean vacation? Go totally mixed. Find your person, find your person. Give them a high five. Find your people. You have a red over there. Yes, high five them. So we like people like us. That exercise both triggered your dopamine because we like to play games. And it also had you raise your hand and look around and say, who's my person. Who's my person. Where are my I colors? And we tend to like people like us. We like people who look like us. We like people who think similarly to us. We like people who have our values. Why? When we find people like us, we tap into this very, very important feeling of I belong. Right? Someone is like me. It makes us feel when we see someone else like us, it helps us accept ourselves more. It actually helps us with self-love. And part of this has to do with oxytocin and serotonin. So these are the two chemicals that are going to be at play today. Oxytocin is that chemical that makes us feel bonded to someone. It gives us actually that calm, everything's okay feeling. So when we have that bond with someone, we're like, (sighs) I really like them. That's actually oxytocin coursing through your bloodstream. And that happens when we find someone who are, people who are similar to us. Serotonin also keeps us calm. It gives that nice easygoing feeling. And when we're with people who truly accept us, we feel like we don't want to be anywhere else in the world. That's one of the most beautiful feelings we have. So let's do a couple more. Would you rather go back in time to meet your ancestors or go in the future to meet your grandkids? Hard one. High five someone, high five your color. High five your color. Lots of reds. I got someone who did both. (laughs) All right, this one, this is a hard one. Would you rather always have to say everything on your mind or never speak again? What would you rather? I see a lot of greens. All right, high five your person. High five your person. You have to air high five each other, your reds. (laughs) So guess what? High fives secretly as well, so I wanted you to high five your person, also produce oxytocin. So every time we have physical touch with someone else, and I talked about this a lot in my Power of Body Language course, that also produces the exact chemical we need to bond with them. There was even a 2010 study that looked at basketball teams. They found that the number of fist bumps, high fives, chest bumps, leaping shoulder bumps. I don't even know what a... I read that, and I was like, what is a leaping? Oh, I think it's like a, hooah! Right? With that noise. That probably sounded terrible. (laughs) All right, that's like a leaping shoulder. I've never done that in my life with someone before anyway. (laughs) Chest punches, also never done that. Head slaps, head grabs, low fives, high tens, half hugs and team huddles correlated significantly with the degree of cooperation among teammates and the number of wins. Right? So now I don't, I don't know sports. But what's like the big, like basketball winning? Like not the Heisman, but like what's like the NBH? No. Wrong crowd. Okay, so... (audience laughs) I see like blank faces. Does anyone know? No. Okay, so whatever you win at the end of like a basketball season, like supposedly they had the most of those. Yeah, I don't, world champion. It's cool, high fives are good. High fives release a lot of oxytocin and they correlate with them for a wins. Oh my God, I have to work on my sports analogies. This is also about worth. I think that when we talk about worthiness, worthiness prerequisites, do we deserve to be happy? Do we deserve success? I think for me at least, I had this idea that I didn't deserve to have people or I wasn't worthy of having really close connections and good friendships. I think that we are, we are deserving of that feeling of belonging. Yes, it's hard to get. It's hard to get those people who make us feel like the best version of ourselves, but we deserve to find them. It takes some work, but we deserve to have them. So I came across this concept of a Sangha, and Sangha is this beautiful term. Lots of different variations, different languages. A Sangha is a small community of like-minded people who help you be your best self. It's actually a Buddhist term. And they talk about these Sanghas as very small communities where you can support each other in learning and growth. I think that all of us should have a Sangha and this takes a lot of different forms. And as I started to research the happiest people and I asked them about this idea. You know, do you have a group of people or a single person who feels like they are your tribe? Or the people who, whenever you're with them, you can say anything, you can do anything. And they know you and your values better than anyone else. Do you have those people? And typically the happiest people could immediately tell me who that was. And it looked different for everyone. It wasn't like they all had the perfect friends group, right? It wasn't like they all had this, the perfect Sex and the City, four group of women, right? That's sort of a, I think all women feel guilty if they don't have it. Not the TV kind of Sangha. I mean like a real Sangha and it was different for each of them. They all could tell me who those people were. So let's talk about how to create your Sangha. Whether or not you have one already or you think that you can start to work on getting one. Part of this, I actually, the very beginning of the course asked you to find your partner in joy. We are a little Sangha in here as we grow and have this momentum together. With your partner in joy, part of the reason I gave you discussion questions and asked you to take it with someone was because I wanted you to have someone where you could have the same lexicon. You could talk about gratitude totems together. You could talk about cause champions together and use the same kind of words. This one also, I love, life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. So creating a Sangha is not only about finding the people who nourish you. It's also about detoxing the people who don't nourish you. Now, I'm not going to talk a lot about detoxing in this course because I talk a lot about it in Master Your People Skills. But I also wants you to think about kind of clearing the way, right? There's a metaphor that's used a lot where farmers often have to burn all their crops to make room for the new ones. You might not be ready to create your Sangha yet. You might have to do a little bit of cleaning first and that's okay, depending on where you are in that phase. This is what we're going for, the I belong. I want you to take a moment in your workbook and I want you to think about when is a moment that you felt this with a single person, with many people? When was a moment where you felt like, wow! Like this is my group. These are my people. This is my time. I want you to think about those two words, because I think that I belong is the most powerful phrase. I think it's even more powerful than I love you. I think I belong is actually a deeper way of saying love because it's total self and other acceptance. First question, on I belong for your Sangha. Do you think this has to be new people? Or do you think that you already have kernels, nuggets of a Sangha, seeds of a Sangha with existing people? That's the big question you have to start with. So are these formalizing or leveraging, increasing existing relationships or is it about cultivating existing connections? So maybe you have a soft connection with someone, but you want to make it stronger. Last choice, is it about finding new people? These are three very different ways of creating Sanghas, right? One is leveling up a current relationship. Second is taking an existing relationship, but actually making it something that matters to the both of you. And lastly is about searching or exploring. So three different things. None of these are right or wrong. I just want you to pick the one that's right for you. Here's step one. So if you're not quite sure where you're going to find a Sangha, here's where I want you to start. I actually want you to start with a common interest and this has to do with the science. So science says common interests are the best way to connect. Studies show that each common interest between people boosts chances of a lasting relationship. So every time you're with someone, that common interest that you land on increases your chances of having a lasting relationship. Each common interest brings about a 2% increase in life satisfaction. So our relationships and how alike we field with people in our life has a direct effect on that legacy, on that fulfillment that I talked about as a goal in the beginning of the course. Number two, so once you pick a common interest, you're like, yeah, I think there's something here in this area. I want you to focus on qualitative, not quantitative. So this is not about the amount of people. It's not about the amount of times you meet. It's about the depth of those relationships and having really high quality. Like even if you have a friend who doesn't live in the same city as you, they don't have to be next door. You might see them once or twice a year, but that time fills you so much, right? So it's not about the quantity, it's about the quality. And of course the science backs us up as well. So Simin Vazire says, well-being is really, oh, this is actually the name of her study, which I love is Eavesdropping on Happiness. Well-being is related to having less small talk and more substantive conversations. So she actually found that what we talk about with people in our life has everything to do with quality, not quantity. You are better off having one really deep conversation once a month than a bunch of really surface conversations, three times a week. Those do not last for us. They don't give us enough dopamine or serotonin. Third step. So focusing on a common interest. Thinking about qualitative, not quantitative. Three, how can you thrive with them? So I think that when you think about the people or the kind of people that you want to meet, what is a way where things that you can do? What, how, when and why. What are the things you can do with them that would help you thrive? That would help you have those substantive conversations that would help you look forward to seeing them. Not all kinds of experiences are created equal. So very quickly, I want to know who pops into your head when I ask some of these questions, you ready? And you can actually write these down at home. I know that, who you know, calling them out on camera, it's a little bit intimidating. So I'll have you write them down as I call them out. Who makes you better? So in your life, when you hang out with them or you see them, or you talk to them, who makes you feel like a better person? And also who do you think you make better? Right, who do you contribute to their well-being? Second. Who challenges you in a good way? Who pushes you a little bit out of your comfort zone? Just a little nudge out of your comfort zone. And who do you challenge in a good way? Who do you push out of their comfort zone? Because the Sangha is not just about what you receive. It's also about what you give. And lastly, who makes you think? Who makes you think about topics that you usually don't consider? Who brings up questions and ideas that challenge your way of thinking? And when you are talking to people, who do you give a hot moments to? Right, so when you're with, have you ever had someone say to you, "Huh! "Never thought about it that way." Or "Gosh! I never, never occurred to me." Who have you done that for? Those are the people I want you to think about, either specifically to approach for your Sangha or also just the kind of people like maybe, when I was doing this course in a beta version, someone said, you know, I was at a conference two years ago and I realized that I was having so many of these thought conversations. I think I need to go to that conference again because somehow that conference attracts the people who fall into this. So it's also can be when was there a time in your life or a place where some of these things came up, if it's not just a specific person. Last thing, how can you think about structure? So this is kind of an optional step because sometimes if you're with a best friend, you're not going to always bring in structure into your best friendship, right? You're not gonna be like, no, we're going to do an ice breaker. (audience laughs) I mean, you could, I did that with my friends, but that doesn't work for everyone. So here's what I want you to think about for structure. Here's a couple things to consider. When do you do it? So is it a kind of thing where you decide to do every Friday or every last Sunday or once a year we do a big camping trip. Where do you do it? Maybe sometimes in your comfort zone, in your hometown is not it. Maybe it actually is going away somewhere. Maybe it is trying new restaurants, tying it with a mastery area and saying, "Oh, I'm really high open. "I want a partner to go "and try the best taco places around town." Right? And I'm going to find that person to be a taco adventurer with me, right? Making it up. What do you do? So when you're actually together and I love free flowing conversations. But I found that in awesome clubs, when I did these masterminds with creative professionals, if we didn't have a structure, we didn't go deep. We tended to kind of stick to like, how's work? How's the wife? How's everything going? Lovely conversations but we weren't going to the substance. I think to think about here is your teams. So a lot of us work with people. You might have an existing team in your life that you want to dial up the I belong, right? Maybe they're not your only Sangha, but maybe you want to have a little bit of that belonging with an existing team. First thing you can do to utilize this team, kind of, I belong in the oxytocin is do start, stop, continue with your group. So in my team, my Science of People team, we do start, stop, continue. I learned so much about my team from that exercise. I learned about their values. I learned about their skills. I asked them, you know, if you want to start something for the company, what would you do? Someone tells me, "Oh, I love Instagram. "And I love building graphics. "I would love to build graphics for Science of People." Great! Right? I learned that one of my team members makes amazing infographics, like incredible infographics. She's like, can I go back and add some new infographics to like our old posts? Yes. Right? So how can you utilize everyone's skills? Make them do the chart. Print out a copy of the mastery chart for them and have them do it. Second, can you generate a little anticipation? So is there something you can do in your group, your existing team, this could be a family or a professional team. What is coming up that the group itself can get excited for? For example, I was just talking to my team members on Tuesday about Creative Live. And I was like, I think that after Creative Live we are all gonna need a spa day. And they were like, "Oh yes!" And I was like, "We are going to go to this spa that I know. "We're all gonna get foot baths and massages "and we're going to do it "as soon as Creative Live is over." I'm excited about it. I'm also generating a little bit of anticipation for them because they do so much work on Creative Live is live every day. So that's a way that I'm trying to generate a little bit of anticipation. Adding a cause champion. So think about with your professional team, is there a cause that you can add to your professional goals? Can your business give back to something or donate to something? Can you ask about the team's nonprofit angle? I think that can also bring some of that altruism into our teams. And lastly, how can you experiment with new ideas? That start area, if you can play storm with them a little bit, I think it also adds a little bit of that hope and curiosity to your teams. Pep talk. I think that this is kind of an anxiety provoking day for some people. I don't know, is anyone sort of like worried about finding their group? I will not make you raise your hands. I was worried about this when I first got it. So my pep talk for you is you do not have to rush this. I think it can take a while to find those relationships that truly nourish us. So be kind to yourself, be gentle to yourself at home. Don't push yourself to go too fast. If you are like me and you are a recovering awkward person and you feel like, I don't know how to talk to people. I need a little more help with the people skills science. I asked Creative Live, if I could have a discount coupon and they said, yes. Thank you Creative Live. So in your workbook, and even if you didn't get the workbook, if you use Vanessa 15, you will get 15% off my Master Your People Skills course or my Power of Body Language course. If you feel like you need a little bit of extra help on this lesson.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Desktop Backgrounds
Best Future Selves
Citation List
Happiness Audit
Happiness Benefits
Happiness Means Forgiveness
Happiness Scripts
Happiness Structure
Happy Calendar
Happy Reading List
K10 Test For Distress
Partner In Joy
Power of Happiness Workbook
The 4 Motivators
The Giving Warmup
Virtual Toolbox