Sandra Sieb

My Insights from the Happiness and its Causes Conference in Sydney

It was another very insightful day at the Happiness & its Causes conference in Sydney today. Here are my takeaways from the day with a few links you might find interesting:

  • From Mathieu Ricard: The concept of 'altruism revolution' as a pragmatic concept to save the world from its own self-destruction; altruism and compassion lead to a win-win situation; happiness is not just depending on outer consequences; concept of 'empathy burnout'; his great organisation 'Compassion in action':
  • From Dr Maria Sirois: meaning gives and architecture to suffering, we find a way to integrate what has brought us to our knees and to hold our brokenness.
  • From Dr Christine Carter: the happiness equation, happiness = meaning + resilience+hope+choosing to be happy;
  • From Shamash Alidina: concept of Kindfulness = mindfulness + Kindness; from Control freak to Kindfulness freak; 
  • From Dr Aaron Jayden: simplifying our lives could be a pathway to happiness; concept of the 'slow movement' with 200 millions participants.
  • From Tony Powell: her secret mantra "no more excuses, no more blame, and I'm not playing the 'sad story' game, I'm letting it all go"; our sad stories are just stories and they are biased in our favour; they keep us in prison.
  • From Dr Jared Cooney Horvath: we can't experience something for which we have no concept of, our brain tricks us to experience what we expect to experience, e.g., science shows that if you don't have a color in your word repertoire, you can't even see it!
  • From Petrea King: What stands in the way of being at peace? Sometimes hearts need to be broken before they can heal; Petrea has created what seems to be an amazing Quest for Life Foundation where broken people can find some respite and rejuvenate; 

I always come out of these conferences pondering for days on thoughts that emerged from all these stories. My latest question is whether we are born with fear and anxiety or only conditioned by it! As Petrea told us today, sometimes we tend to react in a certain way and say, "this is my second-nature", but what is our first nature???

Sandra Sieb is a leadership advisor and co-founder of Leadership Partners. More articles on adult development, complexity theory, leadership and system thinking can be found here

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