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Monthly Archives: November 2014
‘The Art of Happiness’: a series of three very different short documentaries exploring the subject of inner and outer happiness, featuring the people that can, and do live happily, even though they don’t believe there’s any easy way.
The Art of Happiness, with a voice over by Sir Michael Caine, is available from Monday 14 December 2014 at https://www.amazon.com/The-Art-Happiness-Blessings-Ease-ebook/dp/B008M5K6CU. It will be on the Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Apple and PDF for PC, Mac, and Android devices.
This article is a review of The Art of Happiness by Richard Bandler.
The Art of Happiness is an interesting introduction to Bandler’s philosophy of ‘inner’ happiness. It tells the story of his own struggle to find happiness and to live the life he feels is called for in his work and his interests, and follows the development of his philosophy and his approach to his own life and his development as a therapist. Although, Bandler never fully adopts the ‘wisdom’ of some of his famous colleagues, this and other films give us an insight into some of the techniques and approach he uses.
But the film also tells the story of how his philosophy and approach to life evolved. The focus of his first book, ‘The Art of Choosing’ is on choice. Bandler argues that we can find the freedom to make a choice and act on it, even if we are often given choices that appear impossible to make or that seem difficult to follow. The ability to use choices to change a situation in our favour is not a simple ability to make choices. It’s not like choosing ‘cucumbers’ or ‘cars’. Choosing a new job or a different lifestyle is not a simple matter of choosing anything.
Choosing a different life path is a process of exploration and discovery. It includes new ways of seeing, thinking and being. And it means being open to new ideas, challenging beliefs and new possibilities. In short it’s a difficult, and often confusing, process. Yet, Bandler suggests that we can use the choices available to us to improve our lives and our working environments. And there are many, many choices. And a new way of looking at choices is a means of improvement.
Some of the questions we ask ourselves are: how do we know when we’ve chosen the right choices? How can we tell when we’ve found the best choices? What do we do when we find out that a particular choice hasn’t worked out so well? How do we learn from mistakes? How do we cope with bad luck and difficult situations?
As a society we like to believe that we can make a good life for ourselves. We think that we can make our working environment more comfortable, our homes more convenient and our leisure activities more exciting and satisfying. We often think that we are the masters of our own lives and are masters of our own destiny. Our choice is limited to the choices available to us. Yet Bandler points out that the choice we make at any particular time has consequences that may be both immediate and longer term. Sometimes the results of the choice we make are in our favour, and sometimes they’re not.
Choices have consequences and it’s important that we understand the consequences of the choices we make. In fact, it’s important that we understand the consequences of all the choices that we make. It’s an effective way of enhancing our lives and it’s a way of finding comfort in the face of uncertainty and insecurity. As a result it can be a powerful resource for growth and personal development.
This resource is from a chapter of my book, Learning to Grow Older, first published in 2001.
"In his book, Changing Your Life Through Growing Older, Richard Bandler offers practical advice on how to grow and develop as a mature individual. He demonstrates how to make meaningful changes, and use what you know from your previous experiences to make new discoveries and choices about yourself and your life. He shows how to develop a positive relationship with others. He also offers insights into your choices as you grow older, so you can develop a sense of purpose in life. He also shows how you can find enjoyment in ordinary moments."
I've posted this on the "Culture" and "Culture" Forums, but thought you'd like to see it here too.
The latest edition of the popular magazine, Psychology Today, has an article in the May issue which raises the issue of choice and the power of choice. I've posted it on the "Culture" and "Culture" Forums.
"Life is one big choice," the popular magazine Psychology Today reminds us. You could say that the choices we make are the engine that drives our lives. How we make those choices shapes our experience of the world, and as a result, shapes the way we feel about ourselves. The author of this article, Daniel Nettle, offers the perspective that in the modern world, we are increasingly faced with a choice in how we think about who we are.
"We are all born with the capacity to make choices, says Nettle. But, if we take a moment to consider the past five thousand years of human history, it becomes clear that how we make our choices has undergone a process of change. Throughout history, choice has meant a great deal of responsibility. "We choose who we are with our bodies, with our beliefs, our skills, our knowledge and our behaviour, says Nettle, and as a result, we are responsible for the quality of our lives. It's our choice. But as we reach adulthood, we don't usually have to worry about the choices we make, because, says Nettle, as long as our bodies and the rest of our life functions are working well, no one else really cares.
Nettle continues: "It seems that in the last hundred years or so, things have been changing. Now we are living longer, healthier lives, and as a result, we are living with more choice than at any time in history. But instead of feeling more free and independent as we age, as we reach adulthood, in this new world we are often overwhelmed by the choices we need to make. How will I pay my taxes? What career path will I choose? How will I balance my work and my family? What will my friends think of me if I don't invite them to my party? Should I go on vacation or stay at home? As a result, many people report feeling stressed about being able to make good choices and avoid making poor ones, but they don't know how to deal with it."
In this modern world, the choice of work matters a great deal. For generations, as my grandmother grew older, she was able to support her family by making and selling a unique product. Now the choices for most of us are very different. Our options for making a living are much more varied. We can work for a major corporation, for a small business or an individual, or we can stay at home. Most of us don't have to worry about supporting ourselves or our families, because most of us are in a position where our family members do not rely on us for income. But for millions of people who don't fit this description, the decision about work can be daunting and challenging, especially when money is at stake. And these are the people who can find themselves increasingly stressed and overwhelmed by the number