Welcome to another episode of Wild and Precious Conversations. This week contemplating happiness, as in why we should not strive for it. I tell the story of Nick Brown, who called “bullshit” on a mathematical constant in positive psychology.
This week I begin with the story of Nick Brown, a veteran IT guy who, after turning 50, changed into Human Resources and ended up smack dab in a Positive Psychology course in East London.
He learned that we need a ratio of 2.9 positive emotions to every 1 negative emotion and when we attain this golden ratio, we achieve well-being, happiness, nirvana, bliss.
He learned that this was empirically proven using SCIENCE.
He called bullshit and spent the next several years enlisting a mathematician to debunk this.
Positive psychology in its essence makes a lot of sense. We should move away from outdated therpaies and theories that resulted in “learned helplessness”
However, according to more people than just me :) feeling a full expression of emotions is very healthy.
Rumination is not healthy — and I postulate that rumination (getting stuck) on any emotion, positive or negative, is unhealthy.
The key is acceaptance of all your emotions, as they arrive, observing them as visitors in your lived experience. You then have the agency to choose how to respond. That is golden.
Onward. Next week we continue this series on Connectedness (see, it’s all connected :)) We move into the idea of kin and what that means. Guests are imminent.
The Underbelly Project: A weekly workout for your emotional strength and flexibility. If you’re not afraid to get dusty and maybe shed a few tears together, join me and let’s get emotionally strong!
And please, if you know anyone who might like to share this journey, share this project. Excited to stay in the arena with you.