The blog post below by Eric Barker features the work of Barry Schwartz, author of "The Paradox of Choice". Schwartz's basic premise, backed by his research, is that having too many choices in our lives has become overwhelming, leading to greater unhappiness rather than happiness.
Over a decade ago, Empowered Wealth commissioned a study that indicated that the loss of choice and control was the number one fear of affluent families. Juxtaposed with Schwartz's work, there is indeed a paradox: we fear loss of choice and control but the reality of having so many choices makes us unhappy.
Empowered Wealth has adopted the acronym VUCA (which stands for "volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous") to describe the world that we live in (i.e., this world of too many choices). As one might surmise from Schwartz's quote above, he advocates the practice of Gratitude as one of several methods to become happier in a VUCA world. This is very consistent with the Empowered Wealth Mindset and our education, training, and coaching programs.
How To Find Happiness In Today’s Hectic World How To Find Happiness In Today’s Hectic World Trying to find happiness in a world so busy and complicatedcan seem impossible. What’s weird is that in so many ways our lives are objectively better than…
Lee Brower's "Meaningful Mondays" message this week is perhaps a bit controversial because of his apparent support of lying. I'll leave this to your best judgement as you watch the video and consider these remarks:
Part of Lee's message is that telling the truth is a choice and that the ability to make wise choices is a learned skill. How might we learn to think and choose wisely? Perhaps this learning occurs best in a supportive environment that allows family members to make mistakes instead of being controlled by rules, regulations, and advancing technology. Perhaps that's how we might nurture wise thinking and wise behavior without stifling our best and brightest family members and their desire to be free.
Though I’m quite the busy bee these days, I make time in my schedule to serve my community by way of what Empowered Wealth calls “Experience” and “Contribution” Assets, namely using my skills to help other people.
Right now I have just a bit more time than money so I’ve been mainly using my expertise to serve others. The benefits come back in spades because not only do I get the satisfaction of helping those around me in need, but I’m also contributing directly to the betterment of my community. That’s important to me.
The principal skills I have to offer my community are my cooking skills. I have an undergraduate degree in culinary arts and worked in Read more »
Like Empowered Wealth, the article below cites the research of University of California Davis Professor Robert Emmons to support the practice of Gratitude. The use of a Gratitude Journal, one of the "5 Ways to Use Gratitude" mentioned in the article, is a practice that we actively promote. However, while gratitude journals are currently popular, we've found in our experience that there are nuances to the use of journals in the practice of Gratitude that the article does not mention.
In his research and in private conversations that I've had with Dr. Emmons, he mentions the concept of "Gratitude Fatigue". Just as one can over-exercise in one's zeal to become fit, so too can one over-practice Gratitude to the point where one's sense of Gratitude can become routinized and dulled. Thus, such well-intentioned advice to practice "…every week, every day, or even multiple times a day for maximum effect" isn't necessarily supported by Dr. Emmons' research.
Perhaps a better, more practical way to practice Gratitude might be to take a "minimum effective dose" approach. For what it's worth, my own practice is guided by awareness of what I would consider negative, non-productive mental-emotional states such as excessive fear, anxiety, or narcissism. I ask myself at least once a day if I've unconsciously drifted such states – in other words, if I"m in "ingratitude". I then apply Lee Brower's remedy "Go B.I.G." (begin in Gratitude).
(note: our online course "The Secrets of True Wealth" goes into the practice of Gratitude in great depth. www.empoweredwealth.com)