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What Is Happiness?

A new truth promises to revolutionize how you live and work: You’re entitled to be happy. Right now. You don’t have to wait. In fact, you shouldn’t delay.

The Secret: Happiness Is a Direction, Not a Destination

It’s a truth revealed by an ever-expanding body of scientific research. It’s a truth that exposes the secret to both individual and organizational success: happiness. Yes, happiness. It’s a revolutionary discovery that counters conventional wisdom. Happiness doesn’t depend on achieving certain arbitrary milestones like wealth or status or awards or job titles. In fact, the opposite is true. Happiness is an ongoing state of mind, a way of thinking necessary for sustained success.

It’s In Your Hands (Your Brain Really)

The idea is powerfully simple. Most successful people and organizations put happiness first, realizing that only then will success follow. But attaining true happiness isn’t quite so simple. First you, quite literally, must change your mind.

The good news: it’s all within your control. Cutting-edge neuroscientific research confirms that we all possess the ability to wire and rewire our brains for happiness.

Meet ABSRI

That’s the powerful—and empowering—idea behind our company. We share a variety of tools, techniques and insights for tapping this remarkable reservoir of human potential.

What-Is-HappinessJust as our conditioned actions can sabotage our health, our conditioned thoughts can sabotage our happiness.” Dr. Jay Kumar, ABSRI co-founder

Can eating an entire bag of chocolate cookies really bring you deep happiness when you’re feeling sad? Can a relationship only based on sexual pleasure foster long-term happiness? Can waiting in line all night to purchase a newer and slightly more sophisticated version of your phone, truly make you a happier person? If you desire an authentic, fulfilling and joyful life, it’s time for a new strategy to invest in happiness.

But what is happiness? For starters, happiness is not the same as pleasure.

Think of happiness as an emotional and inner quality while pleasure is physical and sensory. The brain knows the difference! There are even separate areas of the brain that correspond to pleasure and happiness.

None of this is a fluke. There are evolutionary reasons for this. Indeed, pleasure supports human survival. First, there’s the obvious reason. Procreation is fun! Pleasure is wired into our primal brain. In a harsh primitive world, the instinct for pleasure enabled us to persevere. As the brain developed new and more complex layers, humans acquired the capacity to think, speak, and scientists speculate, to experience happiness.

A specific area in our post “caveman” brain known as the left pre-frontal cortex—located just above the left eye—appears to be the brain’s primary H-Spot, the locus of “Happiness.”

Happiness can certainly be influenced by external situations and circumstances in our life: a beautiful home, a good education or a loving family, but genuine, “absolute” happiness can flourish within us independently of any of these. Pleasure, on the other hand, is entirely dependent on a specific experience, at a specific time and specific place.

There is nothing wrong with enjoying pleasure. It is wired into our biology. The problem happens when seeking pleasure becomes a way of life. Too often our search for pleasure is a form of escapism, a coping mechanism or addiction that eventually sabotages our happiness.

Pleasure can often mask itself as happiness. But pull off that mask and pleasure can look a lot like sadness.

Happiness is not about giving up the path of pleasure. It’s the conscious choice of moving from a life enslaved to pleasure to a life of fulfillment and purpose.

There’s a fork in the road in front of you. You get to decide which path to take.

Adapted from Brain, Body & Being

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