What is your happy place? What is happiness? How do you find happiness? Join CJ as she interviews NY Times best selling author, Tal Ben-Shahar talking about his newest book “Choose the Life you Want- 101 ways to create your own road to happiness”.
- How do positive psychologist define happiness? How do we find our happiness?
- What are some coaching tips from his experience teaching a class at Harvard on teaching kids? How Tal works with his own kids?
Blog Excerpts from our Guest’s book
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Chapter 1: Choose to Choose
A dead end job. An unfulfilling relationship. Feeling like something is missing in life. We often stay in situations that make us unhappy out of a fear of change or fear of the unknown. We have a choice whether to remain with the devil we have, or venture out of our comfort zone and choose a new, different, and potentially more fulfilling path.
Think about your life. Where did you choose to bring about change in your life despite the difficulties of leaving the familiar? Where today can you choose to choose instead of just surrendering to the situation as is?
Chapter 2: Be Mindful of the Wonder
When you last walked outside, did you notice the color of the sky, the shape of the clouds, or the texture of the path you’re on. Did you make eye contact or smile at a person passing by? Were you on your way somewhere on auto-pilot or were you mindful of your surroundings
Chapter 3: Take a Step Back
Blow a gasket. Go through the roof. Fit to be tied. Eat someone alive. Fly off the handle. Give a piece of one’s mind. Go ballistic. Jump down someone’s throat… The English language is replete with expressions for losing one’s temper.
What can you do to remind yourself to take a step back rather than react in anger?
Chapter 4: Think and Act Purposefully
Often, in our attempt to get to the bottom of why a situation did not turn out in ‘our favor’ or the way we had hoped, we replay it over and over again, believing mistakenly that this will bring us peace and closure. But it is by redirecting our thoughts and actions to something constructive and meaningful that we can allow ourselves to move on. This may entail formulating a strategy on steps we can take to deal with a problem at work, in a relationship or any challenging situation in life. Or it may entail, simply, changing the focus of our thoughts to something unrelated to the problem at hand, but productive and useful.
Is there something that is bothering you—a challenge or a difficulty—that you play and replay in your mind? Come up with ideas about how you can overcome the challenge, to better deal with the difficulty.
About our Guest
Tal Ben-Shahar chooses the life he wants:
He chose to pursue his passion
He was supposed to become a computer scientist (his college major, initially). But he was unhappy academically, even though he was doing well, so he switched to something he felt passionate about – philosophy and psychology. This choice started him on a new and exciting path, that led him to earning a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Harvard.
He chose to teach
Within psychology, Ben-Shahar chose to specialize in Positive Psychology, the science of happiness, and then taught a class at Harvard on the topic. Close to 900 Harvard students chose to take his class, making it the biggest class in Harvard. He then chose to teach another class, “The Psychology of Leadership,” which was also hugely successful.
He chose to teach some more
Ben-Shahar consults and lectures around the world to executives of multi-national corporations, at-risk populations, and the general public. His topics of choice, many of which he teaches as part of his role as the Chief Learning Officer of the Wholebeing Institute, include leadership, ethics, happiness, self-esteem, resilience, goal setting, and mindfulness.
He chose to write books
Ben-Shahar chose to write books on the topics he is passionate about in order to bring the important ideas of Positive Psychology to a wider audience. His most recent book is Choose the Life You Want: The Mindful Way to Happiness. He is also the author of The New York Times bestseller Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment and of Being Happy: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Lead a Richer, Happier Life.
He chose to pursue his love of sports
An avid sportsman, Ben-Shahar would have liked to be a basketball player. But because of his height (which he did not choose), he dedicates his energy to other sports. As a student he played squash competitively, winning numerous tournaments, including the U.S. Intercollegiate and the Israeli National squash championships.
He chose to commit
Tal met a wonderful woman called Tami, and they chose to get married and raise a family. They have three children. Together, they look forward to each new day and the multitude of choices to be made.
#Happy place, what is happiness, authentic happiness