The Power of Happiness

Lesson 8 of 14

Giving & Gratitude


The Power of Happiness

Lesson 8 of 14

Giving & Gratitude


Lesson Info

Giving & Gratitude

All right, we are on day six, g-spots. Can I get a woo-woo for our g-spots, all right! Take your seats. Day number six, g-spots. So I was just telling the audience that this is my favorite day, but I'm very nervous that I'm not gonna deliver it right for you. So I really want this day to be the most impactful. This is the day that really turns some of these short-term lessons into legacy lessons. For those of you who chose legacy as your main goal, this is gonna be a big day for you and for me as well. So just to review where we've been, we did our one, two, three, four, five. We went through our inner kid. We learned how to savor, we learned how to capitalize. We did our skill chart, we did our mastery areas, and now I'm gonna teach you two very quick buttons for happiness. I call this gratitude for real people, and that's because I think that, on a day-to-day basis, we're busy, and that's a terrible reason to not be grateful, but it's a real reason, right? And so I want to talk about...

how that works in our busy everyday life. Two, this is where we get into the big stuff, why we're here, what we're going to leave as a legacy, and so I'm hoping to challenge you to think a little bit bigger for your life. And lastly, these are both long-term and short-term triggers. So g-spots, right, instant pleasure, and also some of the big, long-term pleasure. As always, I'd like to start with a warm-up. So for this exercise, I'd love you to get out your workbook. You can also get out, in the free bonuses, when you hit RSVP, I have something called Your Best Future Self Exercise, so you can pull that out of your bonuses. It's also in your workbook. Pull that out for me, if you could get out a pen, that would be wonderful. What we are going to do is a very powerful activity that is called Your Best Future Self Exercise, and it was developed by Sonja Lyubomirsky, and I love this exercise. In fact, in your workbook, if you printed it out, and by the way, if you're at home, I highly recommend printing this guy out, it's kinda nice to have it, please dog-ear this page, or add a little post-it to this page because this is an exercise that I want you to do again, right? This is one of those exercises that is incredibly powerful. So here's what we're gonna do. First, in your mind, I want you to imagine yourself at some point in the future, months, years, decades from now. Second, I want you to think of your biggest goals and dreams that are on your plate right now, and imagine that they have been accomplished in a realistic, but best possible way, right, so something that you're working towards ends up in the best possible outcome. And then I want you to write down, think about what does that feel like, what does that look like? So don't write down what you accomplished. I want you to write down the feeling of what your life looks like once you've accomplished that huge goal or those huge goals. And if you can, think of that one word to capitalize, right, what's that one word? What's one way to describe that feeling? So if I were to do this myself, and I do this exercise all the time, and I think about that place in the future, my word would be "peace." Like, I think that that sense of accomplishment would be serene, actually. Like, I'm excited a lot of the time now, but I think that when I accomplish those goals, maybe it'll leave me feeling peaceful. How 'bout you guys? What's your one word that kind of pops in your head, yeah? Relief. Relief, yes, absolutely! Like, it's done, and it's achieved, yeah, yeah. And by the way, your word might change 'cause your goals will change. So every time I do this exercise, I actually do it in my journal, I'm able to track what changes in the exercise, which is kind of interesting growth check-in. Someone else, what's a word, yes? Free. Free, yeah, done and totally. And I think that a lot of times when we achieve our goals, it does free us up emotionally, financially, mentally. Yeah. (woman speaking inaudibly) Ooh yeah, that's almost just as good as relief, right, complete contentment. Someone else, you raised your hand, yes. I thought, "sharing." Ah, so you feel like once you're in that place, that's going to give to those around you. Yeah, so getting that sharing feeling. I guess another word would be "proud," I guess. I actually like, "sharing." That's a really good one. It shows the exponential, yeah. The two that are floating around are "bold" and "unapologetic." Ooh, unapologetic! So that also, not to dive deeper, but to dive deeper. So the fact that achieving your goals, even there's a hint of that there could be an apology, I think there's something interesting there. So I would think about why pride makes you feel like there even could be an apology that has to go along with it, right? So sometimes the un-apology hints at the other side, too. So what's cool about this exercise is that researchers have found, there's a lot of research on this, that this specific kind of exercise, this kind of expressive self-writing has a bunch of different benefits for us. One, it helps us clarify our priorities. 'Cause if we think of the future feeling, it helps us think about, what do I need to do to get to that future feeling, right, so it helps us clarify. It also brings us greater self-awareness, reduces goal conflict, and that actually is a problem, when your goals actually are competing. It brings about feelings of control. Remember how important control is from day number four? And then it boosts psychological well-being, and there's tons of studies that show this. That exercise took us what, like five minutes? So just that exercise, if you're looking for an instant, sort of g-spot of happiness, that is something that you can just open up your notebook to, pull out your journal, and do it, so it's a really easy one to reset a funk if you're in one. So remember this graphic from day one of the course, where I talked about the myth of happiness, that we often go through all these things, and we wait to go over to happiness, we hope they'll bring us happiness. So when we look at this chart, I actually want to clarify something here. I don't think that those things are bad, right? I think that it's great to get a raise, it's great to buy your dream home, it's wonderful to find a partner and pay off your student loans, but we have to put it in a different box. It's not the same box as happiness-producing. These are resume-building activities, wonderful. The other side is something different. I believe those are eulogy-building activities, and those are two different things that are both equally important. So what I want us to think about is actually a story. This is about Alfred Nobel. So most of us know Alfred Nobel from the Nobel Peace Prize. So an interesting story about Alfred Nobel is, in his lifetime, he woke up one day, opened up the newspaper, and saw his obituary printed in the newspaper. Somehow, they had confused his brother's recent death with his death, and they actually printed a full obituary for him, even though he was still living. He had the crazy experience of reading his own obituary while alive. What that obituary said was pretty bad things. Most people don't know that Alfred Nobel actually was an explosives expert. He developed war technology. So in his obituary, it had things like, "Alfred Nobel was the merchant of death." "Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways "to kill more people faster than ever before, "died yesterday." "He was rich, a war monger, an explosives expert." That's what his obituary said. That day, he called his lawyer, and he founded the Nobel Peace Prize. He had this really interesting moment where he was able to see that all of his resume-building activities, he was rich, they recognized he was rich, but he had not done any eulogy-building activities. He realized in that moment that his legacy was gonna be something that he did not want to be remembered for, and that's when he started the Nobel Peace Prize, which is how we remember him today. So I want us to think about the differences between resume-building and eulogy-building. Very curious, could anyone in here name the last three Heisman trophy winners? No one. How 'bout last three winners of Miss America? No? How about three wealthiest people in the world? So we don't know these names. Yet, most of us spend a lot of energy on winning things, being really wealthy, on our looks, being the prettiest, yet we don't actually know these names. However, how about this. Name your three closest friends. You can just say it out loud. Everyone's shy. (audience laughing) You can write it down, you can write it down. Everyone got really nervous. That was supposed to be an easier question than the other one! (laughing) How about write down your three closest friends? Or list three teachers who have changed your life. Think of three teachers you've had who have just changed the way you think. Think of three people that you care about. Right, so I actually think that it'd be really hard to strive to be one of the three richest Americans, but it's not hard to try to be a teacher that's gonna change someone's life, right? That's a much easier thing, and that's actually what we remember. It's easier to try to be an amazing, amazing friend. So this is the difference between two sides. This is not wrong, but they fall into a different category of why we are here. So specifically, resume-building activities, this is actually your mastery areas. I want you to think about, and you already did these with your fives, fours and fives, what are your top three mastery areas? I want you to think about, how can you make your resume-building activities tie into your mastery areas? That's great, but that's day two, right? The next thing I want you to think about is what are the three things you want to be remembered for? This is a much harder one. It can be small, like being an amazing friend, which actually isn't that small. It can be raising an amazing family. It could be part of your work, right, leaving a legacy of work. I want you to start thinking about these two things as separate, but not necessarily equal, right? They're both very worthy goals, but they're different kinds of goals. And for this one specifically, to help you with this, I've created this concept called the g-spots. So g-spots are two very quick-producing, pleasureful activities. And the reason why we have trouble with these, the problem with this is we all know we should be more grateful, right? Like, every happiness article, every magazine that we've ever read about happiness tells you to be more grateful, and when I started on my happiness journey, this is what I was faced with. Where every book that I read was like, "Just wake up and be grateful!" And every day, I'd get up, and something would happen, I'd make lunch, or I'd check my email, and I'd go the whole day, and I'd be like, "Oh, I wasn't grateful today." So it ended up being this thing on my to-do list that wasn't even giving me any happiness. It gave me guilt when I didn't do it. And so it was this thing I felt like I should do, but I never did. I have a very different way to think about gratitude, which we're gonna learn, and this is actually g-spot number one, but I'm not gonna teach you the solution just yet. We know the science of gratitude. Science has found that it helps the immune system, it prevents depression, it helps our relationships. Before I teach you the permanent solution, let's do a short-term joy moment. I actually have for all of us, I want to do a little gratitude bomb. Everyone in the audience, I'm gonna pass out some thank you cards, and I want you to write, "Dear," and the name of someone that you want to thank. Here's the thing. I want you to thank someone who hasn't given you a physical thing. So I want you to write a thank you note to someone who has given you something on that eulogy-building side, an amazing teacher, an amazing friend, and I want you to actually start that thank you note. Take an envelope and a card. So at home what I want you to do is pull out, either an email, you could start an email to someone, grab your phone and text someone, or you could write a good pen-and-paper thank you note, and by the way, I'll mail yours for you if you want. (audience laughing) No worries on that. And I want you to text someone right now that you are grateful for them in some way, and it has to be thanking them for something that is not a physical object. So I have a gratitude bomb, as you guys fill out your, "Dear," so write their name on the front of the card. You don't have to write the whole thing if you don't want to. I have a bunch of thanks to give. First of all, I have to thank my team. Oh my goodness, my team, my Science People team, there's six of us: Danielle, Jose, Hayley, Ravi, Emily, Lauren, you guys are amazing. They've been on social media a lot, so if you're at home on Twitter or on our Facebook group, you're interacting with my amazing team. Also my Creative Live team, oh my goodness. You don't see all the amazing people behind the cameras, in the dark hole of a room back there, behind that wall that I don't get to see. I just want to thank Creative Live so much for having me, for you guys, for being in this audience, for making time in your very busy schedule to be here, and giving me these personal answers. I'm so grateful for your vulnerability. I also want to thank my Science of People trainers. So we have over 80 Science of People trainers who are trained in teaching these techniques. They are all over the world. They are amazing. They tweet out the course. They send me new research, and they're a huge part of our team and growing brand, so thank you guys so much. And you at home! So the coolest thing after each of these days is going on Twitter and going on Facebook and seeing all of your happy a-has. I am so grateful for you watching. I know that time is precious, so the fact that you take time to watch this course with me, I am so, so grateful. So you guys start writing your, everyone have a name written down? Make sure you write a name. Don't worry, I won't ask you 'cause I know that's very, very personal. Everyone got a name, okay. G-spot number two, which I'm gonna teach you how I want you to do this is giving. So we know that giving is incredibly powerful. In fact, in one study, they asked one group of students to do something enjoyable, something fun, and they asked another group of students to do something altruistic. It could be anything they chose. Both groups got a momentary burst of pleasure. They felt good in the moment from that enjoyable activity, like eating a piece of cake. However, the altruistic group felt better all day long. So what happens is when we do something pleasurable, like an enjoyable place or maybe an activity, that does give us that nice boost of happiness. However, altruism is an enjoyable activity where the enjoyment lasts much longer than that initial burst of dopamine. So when we talk about altruism, I love, of course, the classic, quintessential quote by Gandhi, "The best way to find yourself "is to lose yourself in the service of others." I have that posted on my mirror. So my solution here is something called a cause champion. So while I was researching giving, and I was trying to think of a way to turn this kind of fuzzy idea of altruism into something specific, I realized that a lot of us know we should give back, right, we know we should give to charity. We want to do nice things, but the opportunities tend to pass us by, and there'll be months or years when we haven't done anything altruistic. So what I found was, is that one thing that happens a lot, is that we remember specific causes that our friends have. In other words, you were mentioning how in your family your husband loves trains, and so any time anyone sees a picture of a train, you would text it to him. Something in my life happened, where one of my friends is obsessed with breakfast tacos. (audience laughing) It's a really funny, silly thing. And so whenever anyone sees breakfast tacos on a menu, we tend to text each other. And I was like, "Why is it that those little things "you remember so well?" If you know someone who's a big Lakers fan, whenever a Lakers thing comes on, you think of that friend. I was wondering, what if we can take that and make them causes? What if every person in your life knew your one cause? That, every time you had a birthday, you asked everyone for donations to that charity. That, whenever that charity had a big drive going on, you posted about it. That you had a badge right up top on your Facebook or your Instagram so that people actually, when they think of you, they associate you with that cause. Just like we wear our favorite teams' jerseys, I think we should each have a cause that we champion so that everyone in our life thinks of us with that. The reason why that's powerful is because it's exponential giving. One is it has you claim that one cause that you want, and the moment you claim a cause, it really helps you stand behind it. Second, is you encourage others to think more altruistically. And third, they mirror it back to you, right? So if you ask people to support or click through to your favorite cause, the next time they see you, they'll ask you, "Hey, how did that cause do?" And you're like, "Ah, right, I should go on and check." So you actually end up setting up your own feedback loop when you pick your cause. So what I want to do, in here and with you at home, is I want to actually pick each of your causes. I'm hoping that right now, we can sit and sort of think about, if you had to pick one favorite sports team, but really one favorite giving idea, what would it be? So here's how we're gonna do it, and this is, I think, the biggest thing that we can do. I really, really encourage you to not do this exercise passively, right? Don't just think that you want to give more altruistically. I actually want you to pick something really specific and then make a pledge to do it, and I'm gonna help you with it. So to help you with this, in your bonuses, you have a little thing called the Giving Warm-Up. This is gonna help you try to find what your cause is. So if you turn to that for your Giving Warm-Up, and I think I actually have this also, yep, I have it also in your workbook for you so you don't have to open up your bonuses. So a couple questions for us to think about, and I'm gonna have the audience answer for us as well. If you had one million dollars to donate, what would you do with it? Just off the top of your head, what would you do with one million dollars if you wanted to give that away, yeah? I would give it on They have different entrepreneurs. You can choose people by country or by what they need, and they give small, microloans, so that when you get the money back from their microloan, you can just redistribute that to other people who need small loans. Oh that's crazy 'cause that's my cause champion. So what are the chances of that? So I love that answer! Any other one million dollar, what would you, where would you give it, where would you give to, yeah? So I'd partly spend on, like, youth. I volunteer with the youth, homeless, and also First Graduate, so partly on that and partly on environmental causes. Love it, so you'd split it up between different causes. Okay so that was a money question, right? I was asking about money. How about, think back in your life, when was the last time you sensed profound meaning and purpose? So now I'm talking about your values, right? When was a time, this can be something small or something big. It doesn't have to be giving, but it could be another time. I'm trying to tap into your values of that legacy. So when was a time you felt that meaning or purpose, and that's a very personal question, so I'm actually not, unless the audience wants to raise their hand, I'm gonna let that marinate for a second. Oh, you have one, Erica, yeah? Yeah, I get my profound meaning and purpose by helping others shift the way they believe, their beliefs around food and their body, and to like, just accept who they are and love who they are. And it's that moment of the shift. Yeah. Right, so it's not the teaching part, it's the moment where they're like, "Ah, I've changed that." I love a-ha moments. I joke that I'm addicted to a-ha moments. So my favorite part of teaching is actually not teaching. It's the very end of every day, where I ask you, "What's the most important thing you've learned?" I'm like, addicted to that, when someone's like, "Oh my gosh, something clicked for me when you said that." I'm like, "Yes, that was the whole reason "I got up today to do it," so I totally get those shift moments. Last one in the warm-up, and I have more questions in your workbook for you and in the bonuses. Who do you wish you could help more? And when I say, "who," it could be someone specific in your life, it could also be a type of person. Who pops into your head? Like, it could be, you know, clients, but it also could be your son, right? Who is it? Does anyone pop into your head, either a specific person, or a kind, yeah? The first thing that popped in my head is a younger version of myself. I work with middle schoolers a lot, I sub with them a lot, and people, at my age in my life, and I'm not gonna tell you what it is, but I've learned so much lately, that I just wish, why didn't anybody tell me this sooner? You know, all the stuff that I'm getting now, all the stuff from you, why didn't somebody say that sooner? So people in life, earlier. I love it, yeah. With my book, I wrote the book that I wish I had gotten my freshman year. And so anything that you learn in this course, all of your a-ha moments, like, pay them forward, right? Like, if you learn something really cool, go share it. Like, go reteach it. Take this slide, and be like, "Oh my God, I learned the coolest thing, you have to do it." So I want you to think about who is that person, that type of person. Here's, I want to go into some ideas, and these are from previous happiness students. I loved some of the things they did for their cause champions. In fact, the thing I'm most excited about, for after this course, is the tweets you guys are gonna send me of the cause champion you pick. So please send me those. So yes, of course, top one, easiest one is a charity. But I also want you to think of giving in terms of a skill. So you might have a skill that you want to give to someone else or help someone else with, like sharing with your students that you meet with. For example, I love these two from two of my first students. So Aaron is a retired carpenter, and he decided he wanted to build benches or make swing repairs in local parks because he found, a lot of the times when playground equipment would break, or there was a beautiful park, but not enough benches, or they were graffiti-ed, he could easily go and fix that and do it on his time, right? And a beautiful way to donate skills, something different that we wouldn't always think about. Or Elizabeth, a librarian, often goes to book drives and helps kids find a book that they would love. And, so you know, a lot of kids will get a book, and they're like, "This doesn't resonate with me," so she would try to find that, like, perfect book to get a kid hooked on reading, which I absolutely love. A person. So is there a specific person in your life that you feel like that could be your cause champion? Here's an example. So this is from Susan. And so she, part of her values was she went through a really hard time of loneliness and depression. So what she did is she went to a, contacted a local nursing home and asked which residents don't get visitors. Right, which residents don't have families that visit them? And she once a month goes and spends a day visiting each of these residents and having tea with them. You know, that's like a, that makes me like, "Don't cry, okay." This section always makes me like, okay. The other one is an activity. What I mean by that is I like this one. So, "After taking a course, "my family and I decided to be Holiday Champions." So what they do is they bring holiday dinner, gifts and trees to three other families in need every year. Right, so that's her big thing. She felt that the holiday time was so special for her and her family that she wanted to gift this to three other families. Don't cry, no! (audience laughing) Okay, the last one is a mentality. So I like this one because I didn't actually think of this the first time I did it, but Greg said that he decided to champion chivalry. He felt like chivalry was dead, and so he was gonna prove to women that men could be chivalrous, and so he makes it his business every day to open doors, be chivalrous, and like, that's his like, new manifesto and mantra of giving, which is like a very interesting way to think about giving. So in your workbook, I have, and this is the big one, The Giving Challenge, okay. This is how we get real specific about what we want to do with our time and our energy. There are four steps, I believe, to this process. Okay, if we really want to make it official, to turn just the idea of being more altruistic into actually being more altruistic. First, I want you to think about your values, okay, and this is how cause champions stick with us. I think a lot of the time, we get on these kicks, right? Someone says, "Donate clothes to the clothing drive." We're like, "Yeah, I'm gonna do that," and we donate clothes, but it didn't really hit our values, and so we kind of forget about it. Or we give once to a, you know, Feed the Children campaign, but that wasn't necessarily the thing that really got our heart pounding, and so we don't give again. So I want you to start with your values. Like, if you could change one thing in the world, or if you have that moment with clients that makes you feel like, "Wow, that was worth it," I want us to start there. That moment you felt intense meaning and purpose. Like, for example, it might be working with young girls for that shift, right? So that you're getting that with paying clients, and then you can also tell your paying clients, "Your payments support clients that don't pay," right, like so that they know that. Do your research. The second one is, before you pick something, I want you to actually get really serious. Like, this is gonna be your thing, right, for the rest of your life, hopefully. Don't pick it willy-nilly. Do your research to figure out what organization is the best, what would really be a fit for your time and your financial situation. I want you to make sure that this is a cause that really fits you and your lifestyle and your income. And you can give with time, you can give with energy, you can give with skills, and you can give with money. Money is not the only thing that we have to give. Third, make some kind of a pledge. And again, this does not have to be money. This is, "I'm going to help x number of people." Or, "Every Christmas, I'm gonna give three different trees." Or, "I'm gonna open the door "for every woman I walk next to," right? Make some kind of quantifiable, measurable pledge in some way so it's actually a specific idea, not a general idea. And the last one is broadcast it, promise it, share it, because you by doing that, you're giving everyone else a gift. You're reminding them that they want to be more altruistic, and they're also gonna bounce that back to you next time they see you. And please tell me, @ me, in other words, what your champion is, I want to know what you decide to do. So my cause champion, I can't believe you brought up Kiva, of all of them, is Kiva. So these are microloans to entrepreneurs around the world. Let me explain the process of how I picked this so this kind of can inspire your process. One, so I am, I value entrepreneurship a lot. I started my own business 10 years ago, and I love being an entrepreneur. So I love to support other entrepreneurs. I'm also, I mean, all my courses have the thesis or the thread of empowerment. It's incredibly important to me, and global poverty is something that I really think about a lot, it's part of my mental time travel. So I knew that I wanted some kind of a cause that hit all three of those values. So Kiva values, shockingly, are the same as mine. So when I was doing my research, I looked on their mission page and found that theirs were almost the same as mine. My pledge, so if you go to my website, you will see that on the very top tab is a heroes page, and that is because, you know, most people have like books, and about and speaking, and those are great, but part of the reason I do what I do is to be able to give some of it away. So on my website we have scholarship heroes where I give loans to entrepreneurs every time we make a big sale or a big deal. I broadcast it every year on my birthday, I ask people to gift to Kiva, so they all know that Kiva is my cause, right, so that's how I've decided to champion this cause, and I hope all of my readers always are constantly hearing about Kiva all the time, and they think of me when they hear it. So I want to know what cause will you champion? I'm gonna ask the audience in a little bit. I'm gonna give you some time to think about it as I go through more ideas, but I'm gonna ask you at home what your cause champion is. If you need more ideas, in your virtual toolbox,, I have some charity champion ideas, some cause champion ideas, if you're running low on ideas. So before I ask you about your cause champion, I'm gonna ask at the end, I want to do the second g-spot. So the second g-spot is about finding gratitude. So just like with giving, we all know we should do it, but it was really hard to remember. So here is how I came up with the idea of a way to remember gratitude. This is my lip balm that I use before night and before I go to bed at night, and it's on my bedside table. And this thing happens to me when I get into bed where I remember things that I was supposed to do that day, right, like, "Oh, I gotta call a gardener," right? I like, throw it. So I would take this, and I would throw it across the room. 'Cause I realized that I didn't want to get out of bed and write down my to-do list 'cause I was too tired, but if I took something from my bedside table, and I threw it across the room, when I got up the next morning, I'd be walking, and I'd be like, "Why is this, "oh, I gotta call the gardener." (audience laughing) Right? So it was like this reminder that I would do for myself. My poor husband, I would like, be in bed, and I would like, throw it across the room, and he'd be like, "Ah, what is happening?" And I'm like, "Oh, don't worry, "it's just my to-do list making noises." (audience laughing) So this works really well, right? This was a great way. Every morning, I would see that item on the floor, and I'd be like, "Ah yeah, I have to do that thing." And I wondered, could you do that for gratitude? Where instead of relying on just our mind to remember to be grateful, what if something in our life reminded us to be grateful? That's a much easier way to remember it 'cause you're not relying on you, you're seeing it in your external environment. And this is when I came up with the idea of a totem. So a totem is a symbol, a reminder, or representation that serves as an emblem. It helps remind the user of an idea, memory or behavior. So what I want us to do is come up with our own gratitude totem. This is an emblem or a thing or a symbol of something in your life that reminds you of this idea to be grateful, so that you're not having to source it from your own brain. My gratitude totem is a red light. And what I mean by that is, when I'm driving down from my house, there is one red light, and I swear this light is timed against me, it stops me every, single time, and it became like, this life pebble, right? I would drive down the hill, and I'd be like, "Don't do it, don't do it," 'cause I can like, see it, I would be like, "No, stay green, stay green!" (exasperated sighing) I'd always get the red. I think it's like, timed against my lights from going down the hill. So I realized that I had to shift something. Right, I could not let this red light be the cause of my bad moods going forward. So whenever I am stopped at that red light, I think of all the things I'm grateful for. Like, I actually now want to stop at that red light because I know that that is the moment I'm gonna take to say, "Okay, here are the three, or four, or five," depending on how long the light is, and I have to, for the entire red light, keep thinking of gratitude things. So I changed something that would've been either a little bit annoying or totally neutral into a gratitude moment. So here are some gratitude ideas for you. Some totem ideas for you. So it can be an object, right? Maybe your morning coffee, if you brew morning coffee, and you stand there, and you wait, maybe as it trickles out, and the beautiful smell comes up in the kitchen, maybe that, those first few seconds are your gratitude moments. Maybe it's looking at a plant, or looking at something in your life, that symbol that reminds you of it. It could also be a process. Every time you brush your teeth, you think of something you want to be grateful for. My red light, or every time you water your garden, you think of something to be grateful for. It could also be a time. So a couple of our first happiness students picked times. So at 3:33 pm was a gratitude time, that entire minute, and they had a little reminder that went off at 3:33, that was a gratitude moment. Right before bed, or maybe your first three thoughts, right, right when you wake up, your first three thoughts should be gratitude thoughts. It could also be people. So we heard a couple of different examples of people with my first students. They said, "when your child laughs." What a beautiful, like, sound, right, that every time they hear their child laugh, they take a moment. It's kind of what you were saying. When your son makes something for you, you take a moment, and you're like, "Ah, I'm gonna enjoy this, I'm gonna savor it." Or you change the sound of your best friend's text, so whenever they text you, that gives you a little moment to be grateful for that friend. So these are just different ideas for ways that we can incorporate gratitude in our life where our life reminds us to be grateful, as opposed to relying on our brain to have to remind us. The big thing here is then to share it. So you don't have to share your gratitude totem, but I actually highly recommend sharing it with the people in your life. For example, I thought this was adorable. So one of our first happiness students decided that whenever they see birds, as a family, her and her kids always point out birds, that that would be, like a gratitude moment, and then whenever anyone in the car sees one, they have to shout out something they're grateful for. So it'll be like, "Bird, McDonald's!" if they're like, excited for McDonald's or like, you know, like, "Bird, drawing!" right, so they have to shout it out. So I highly recommend encouraging people in your life, especially with your partner, right? It's great if you're like, "Every time we eat out and we get dessert, "'cause that's a splurge, we have to spend the entire time "we're talking about things we're grateful for," right, to enjoy that splurge a little bit more. I also love the #imgrateful. So I actually, people tweet this to me all the time, what they're grateful for. Why I love this, if you can do this in your social network, is if I'm having a moment where I am not feeling grateful, and I open up my Twitter, and I see people who have taken a previous course or who've read something, and they're tweeting me what they're grateful for, I have a rule that I have to tweet back what I'm grateful for to them. So that's a way that I've asked the world to share their gratitude with me so I can give gratitude back to them. So I highly encourage you to share it to exponentially increase that happiness. So here's the challenge. Let's talk about in the audience our cause champion. I want you to find your cause champion, and then I want you to make a pledge. Any ideas, here in the audience, about what your cause champion might be, yes? I have volunteered in the past with kids. It was more towards like an action sports, kind of like a Big Brother, Big Sister thing, and I loved that, but when I moved to the Bay Area, I wanted to give back to my community again, and I really enjoyed working with children, but I wanted to find a cause that was a little bit more close to my own experience. So I had experienced loss at a young age. My father died when I was seven, and so I set out to look for bereavement support groups in San Francisco, and sure enough, I found one, and I trained with them about a year and a half ago, and I've been a, in my career, I was a trainer and a facilitator, so I had that facilitation skill set, and so it was a really rewarding experience for me to be able to use that skill with a passion that's very close to my heart and to my own experience. And you know, it's so funny, 'cause like, when we volunteer, it's like, you start up saying, "Oh, I want to give back, I want to give back," but really you get so much back in return, and it's, I volunteer with them twice a month, and it's literally the highlights of my month. It's what I most look forward to, and even though it can be really challenging at times, and emotionally draining, I leave there just feeling so satisfied, so fulfilled, and just really peaceful. May I ask you how you share it? So how do you exponentially share that? That's actually something that I'm taking away from you today as something that I want to share more. I have posted a little bit about it on Facebook, but I think that there is more that I can do. I mean, I share it with those close to me, you know, with my family and with my partner, but I would like to share that. Like, make it your sports team. Like, be like, the avid fan that that's your cause so that like, everyone who meets you, who knows you, knows that like, that's your thing. As if you wore a jersey for it. And you mentioned something important. You have it twice a month. That, I'm hoping can be one of your happiness experiments. So if you can add in, either finding the cause, if you don't quite know yet, researching the cause, figuring out how you're gonna pledge it, I would love that to be one of your happiness experiments until you find the right one. I love it, thank you for sharing, yes? I do, like, involved with the mentorship program for First Graduate, and the reason that I picked that, is that, like you mentioned, like, donating clothes to the clothing drive or Goodwill, I like those things, but I also like to build a relationship with like, people that I just donate time. Which is more impactful than giving them a shirt, right? I like to do that also, but it's just more important to me to be involved in their daily life or build this relationship over time. So that's what I enjoy a lot. I have two student that I'm working with, and one of them is just writing the essays for the, getting ready to go to school next year, and he told me that he wants to be a software engineer, and he needs, like, help with the coding, and I said, "Oh yeah, I can help you with the coding." Yes, mastery skill, right like using your mastery skill in your cause champion, which is like boom, boom, boom, right like? And that's like, a language that I didn't use for a while, so I learned a lot because I have to go back and prepare for our meeting and stuff, and I really enjoy it. I love it. How 'bout someone who doesn't know yet but has an idea? Like, you don't have one yet. You haven't done anything yet, but you're like, kind of thinking about what you could do for your cause champion, yes? I think mine will be around, like, girls and self-esteem and body image, but I don't know. Like, is it a workshop, is it one-on-one, is it? And so that would be part of the experiment, right? Like maybe running one or talking to a counselor, or you know, figuring out what it is, which I love, and I think that's actually where most people are, right? We're kind of with this general idea, and that is exactly where I want you to be because just having the idea brings that hope and that curiosity which then ties into what we learned last time. So I want you to find your cause champion. Make a pledge, right, get really, really specific about what you're gonna do with that cause. Second, pick a gratitude totem. So, in the audience, what gratitude totems do you think you're gonna use, any ideas for a specific time, process, object, person, about what this gratitude totem could be, yeah? I have to microwave my dog's food every day, and so that's like a two minute, 10 second thing, so while I do that, instead of like rushing around, and like, I just, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I can take time to do that. Two minutes and 10 seconds of gratitude. And by the way, I feel like, I wonder if your dog will like feel that, you know what I mean, like the difference? The dog associates your behavior with that's like food time. I love it, a specific time, yeah? I think for me the gratitude is more a way of life. So whenever something happen, or I see like, I hear negative comment, I automatically think or tell the person, "Couldn't be that worse? "Now we have this, this, this, this, "and shouldn't we like, be grateful for those?" So that's like a mindset thing, right? Like, anytime you hear, so negativity is actually your gratitude totem, right? Like, when you hear something negative, that flips you into it. I actually, there was a student in our first round who said gossip was gonna be her gratitude totem, that she's really trying to wean herself off of gossip, and so when she heard gossip, she would try to say something she was grateful for about that person they were talking about, to kind of counter in her own head, like. Great, I love that one. Other gratitude totem ideas? Process, time, objects, yes. So actually I was thinking of something last week. It just kind of came at the present time, and I actually posted something about this, about the dignity of women and young girls with education globally that have been denied their rights. And so I'm actually, I got like, a hundred likes on it when I posted it, and it wasn't just women, it was men as well, and I began to think, you know, everybody has the same feeling. And so I actually am looking at what kind of opportunities right now where I can find my best cause. Perfect, you're in the research phase right? You found the value, you found some nugget, yeah. And why did you bring it up today, a week later, at the same time, so it's kind of an a-ha moment right now. Yeah, perfect timing to sort of solidify it into something measurable. So I will also say, I love that you said this post got you a hundred likes. I think it's really important also for us to champion other people's causes. So if you see someone else who posts like, a really beautiful thing about them being grateful, them being happy in the moment, or their causes, I think the other way that we can sort of give back is by sharing, liking, commenting, and capitalizing on their moment of giving as well, and that's a gift that we can give. So I want you at home to think of your gratitude totem. It can be a process, a thing, or a person. Share it with me. Always share that you're grateful with me. It reminds me to be grateful. It's my ask to you guys to make me more grateful. And lastly, your bonus is I had everyone in the audience start their card. Please finish your card, and if you're at home, send a text to someone that you care about, just to tell them that you care about them. We do not do that enough, and that is a gift in itself. Coming up, tomorrow, we are gonna talk about sanga, so this is about building community. This is going beyond just ourselves. So the first six days of this course have been very intrapersonal, us-focused. Tomorrow is our big interpersonal day about community. And then we're gonna learn about physical wellness, triangle of wellness, our lucky jack, which is mindset, and then assertive-ism on day 10. Let's talk about what we learned today. I'm gonna ask the audience what your biggest a-ha moment was today, I know I already got a couple. At home, remember there's extra-credit prompts in your workbook you can always fill out. And let's hear, what were your biggest a-ha moments, yes? I like to make, like, family rituals. And I really love the idea to create your own totem, like, for a ritual, to remind you about gratitude time. So I will, I don't know what it will be now, but I definitely, it's something I will think about. Okay, you've got to tell me by the end of the course, okay? You've got to figure out what it is, or what you think it might be. Other a-ha moments from today, yes. I think one of the things that it made me realize is that I really like puns. So when people see funny puns, they send them to me. So that's a thing that I'm getting, and I get a lot of pleasure out of that. So I'm happy to be known as the punny person. The punny person, yes, and put it out there, right? I love it! That's such a good one to ask the world and then get it back. Yes, I saw other hands, yes. Just the cause champion was a really good reminder to get back into that. I mentored when I lived in Seattle, and then moved and lost track of that. And then this was so powerful to me that I'm really appreciative of you having us go through that exercise, and I think that'll be great. And pledge it and pick it. I wish we had jerseys for our causes, right? Like, I would so much rather wear a jersey for that than any sports team. Maybe we'll have to make some for our causes. So I am so grateful for everyone today. Remember to tweet me your a-ha moments so I can give away my book Captivate. And tomorrow, we will be talking about community. We're gonna stand up and dance our way out. Shake it out, get some music going. (upbeat, energetic music) Thanks guys!

Class Description

“Vanessa is the BEST!  She changed my life and I'm convinced if everyone did this course, the world would be a better place in which to live.” -Angela, CreativeLive Student
The search for happiness is your key to greater success. Do you know what makes you happy and how to get more of it? Most of us have no idea what drives our internal joy triggers. In this course you will learn that happiness is concrete and achievable. More importantly, happiness has tremendous benefits for every area of our life.

Vanessa Van Edwards has cracked the code on happiness. She runs the Science of People, a human behavior research lab. After studying the underlying patterns that drive our behavior for 4 years, Vanessa has come up with a framework for happiness - and a system for applying the latest scientifically backed happiness principles to your own life.

This class is designed to be watched over time. Just one lesson a day will keep you on track. Or feel free to binge watch all the lessons in one day! Rewatch the lessons whenever you need a refresher.

Vanessa’s methods are based on exhaustive research and solid science. This course is based on a literature review of 246 happiness studies, an audit of happiness data from over 12,000 people, and 4 years of research. The metrics that justify her research are just as compelling. Research has found that 50% of our happiness is genetic and 10% is the result of our environment. That means 40% of our happiness is influenced by behavior and mindset. Vanessa will focus on the 40% that you can address, so you can get back on track with your life and your goals.

Don’t be a passive learner! Students who purchase the class will also receive Vanessa’s comprehensive workbook with over 90 pages of exercises, charts, graphs and challenges to keep you on track to becoming a happier person.

Need an extra boost of positive motivation? Join The Power of Happiness Facebook Group to stay connected to people like you, who are retraining their brains and learning the true power of happiness.


Naomi Leila

I am so grateful for this course and for Vanessa. I took this course a few weeks ago and my happiness audit was at 100 neither happy nor unhappy. Now i feel so much happier and everything in my life has improved as a ripple effect and i am 134 on the happiness audit. This course really pays off if you put the work in and follow Vanessa's amazing guidance. It is such a fun, uplifting and brilliant course, i highly recommend it to everyone.

Jennifer Lee

Do you want to find happiness? And take control of your life, and ignite happiness in others? Are you looking to boost your self confidence or looking for ways to make your world a better place? If you said YES to these questions and are curious about the power of happiness, please check out The Power Of Happiness course with Vanessa Van Edwards! This course will awaken you and empower you with practical steps. Check it out. I guarantee you will be glad that you made the investment! Jennifer Lee A student of The Power Of Happiness

Andrea Magee

This course gave me actionable ways to think about my mindset and take some manageable steps toward improving my happiness. My cheeks were really feeling how much smiling and laughter (as well as dancing!) is included in each of the 10 days. Accepting that my own happiness is an ongoing skill to be exercised, as well as one that can encourage contagious happiness for my friends and family too.