Arjan Haring will give the introduction of this beautifull event. Arjan will tell how his Thoughts on Happiness led to this event.
Positive feelings like pleasure, or hedonic liking, are e.g. linked to food and procreation and as such crucial for survival of the individual and the species. Romantic love, maternal love and other social pleasures belong also to this basic set. And than there are higher order pleasures including artistic, musical, altruistic, monetary and transcendent pleasures. A pathological loss or absence of such positive feelings, anhedonia, is present in affective disorders, such as depression, schizophrenia, autism and addiction.
Reward is the active process of the brain that reacts to a pleasant stimulus. Liking, wanting and learning of reward are represented in different brain areas. The occurrence of pleasure is coded by neural activity in many brain sites, including the prefrontal cortex, amygdale, thalamus, nucleus caudatus, nucleus accumbens and the ventral pallidum. The brain regions involved differ partly between the sexes, and sex hormones are involved in this process.
The human capacity for positive and negative feelings is shaped by the forces of evolution, thus the evolutionary perspective is relevant to the study of happiness. I shall try to identify the more pertinent innate qualities of the human brain, and discuss how the evolutionary perspective can be used to relate these qualities to questions concerning happiness.
Two aspects of our evolutionary legacy are particularly relevant: One, the existence of feelings designed to influence behaviour. These feelings typically tend to be of either positive or negative value, as their functions are either to encourage or discourage. Two, discords between the present way of living and the environment we are adapted to live in. Such discords may impact on emotional wellbeing (e.g. by causing anxiety), and on our “default state of contentment”.
A small break to catch your breath.
Happiness is experiencing pleasant feelings or ‘flow’, a state in which we are so involved in an activity that nothing else matters. We cannot influence these feelings directly, but we can influence them by the things we do. Thus, enhancing happiness is a matter of planning and acting to create fine or flow feelings. However, our brain processes more than 95% of the received information from our surroundings subconsciously. In order to make decisions that enhance our happiness it is essential that we become more aware of the origin of our feelings. Happiness constellations allow us to experience which decisions will enhance our happiness.
The Critical Role of Psychological Need Satisfaction
When are people enthusiastic and committed to their daily activities and when do they become passive and alienated? What makes people thrive and develop most optimally? These are the kind of questions that are at the heart of Self-Determination Theory (Ryan & Deci, 2006; Vansteenkiste, Ryan, & Deci, 2008), an empirically build theory on optimal motivation and personality development that has been under development over the past 40 years. A central thesis of the theory concerns the postulation of three basic psychological needs, that is, the needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. The satisfaction of these needs is said to allow for a more volitional and self-determined rather than a controlled and pressured functioning and encourages the pursuit of intrinsic and health-promoting rather than extrinsic and materialistic life ambitions. The core aspects of the theory and a number of empirical studies will be discussed.
In a relaxed and laid back atmosphere participants can enjoy a luxurious lunch.
Research shows that about 40% of our happiness is determined by our actions. Certain ways of acting can thus significantly increase our happiness. More and more such happiness-increasing interventions are being developed. To see if they really work, they can be put to the test in experimental outcome studies.
In this talk, Onno Hamburger and Hein Zegers focus on happiness interventions in the workplace. This is immensely important, not only because we spend so much time at work but also because research shows that happy people at work are much more productive in several ways.
Research shows that happy employees are more creative, innovative, smarter and better team players. They are also better in coping with stress and changes in the workplace. It is not surprising that organisations with happy employees (compared to organisations with unhappy employees) have a better track record when you look at long term financial results like stock market value and profitability.
In ancient Chinese teaching Wisdom is Money, Health and Happiness. This wisdom for Business Spirituality is a practical step-by-step guide to communicating with and motivating people. It is based on the money-making action on the level of doing, self-mastery for happiness on the level of being and relation skills for health to train and motivate people. It can be applied to any business, service or endeavor that depends on more than one person to accomplish a goal, and can be implemented by everyone who dare.
Perhaps you have heard about Alpha management style – the one based on the masculine, authoritative use of power. Perhaps you have also heard about the Beta management style – the one based on the feminine, cooperative use of power. The Business Spirituality will introduce you in what we call the Omega management style – the style which incorporates and enhances them both.
Catching your breath again.
Why the former does not require the latter
Happiness and meaning are often mentioned in one breath in discussions about quality of life. Yet these are different things both conceptually and empirically.
Happiness is defined as subjective appreciation of one’s life as a whole. Meaningfulness is sometimes conceived as a subjective appreciation as well, and represents in that case as aspect appraisal of life. Meaningfulness is also conceived as objective significance of a life beyond that life, which does not necessarily reflect in subjective appreciation. This keynote focuses on the relationship between happiness and perceived meaning of life.
Bas Haring makes the following comments about his latest book "For Successful Living": It is almost inevitable that you want to be successful in your work and in your life. But why do you want this?
The road to success is a difficult one, and what will success actually bring you? Are we at the controls in our quest to realize our dreams, or are we the helpless victim of “something in our head”?
Bas Haring claims the latter. Moreover, he attempts to strike a blow for those who are unsuccessful. For those who live a life that leads nowhere, who leave nothing behind: no children, no thoughts, no books, nothing. The people who just enjoy life or maybe do nothing at all themselves.
Maybe you should try it sometime...
Applying lessons learned ;-)