Tag Archives: Happiness

  • Podcast

    Sebastian Junger: Is Our Material Wealth Undermining Our Happiness & Health?

    For all modern society has gained, we may have lost what really matters
    by Adam Taggart

    Friday, November 22, 2019, 3:56 PM


    One the most personally meaningful podcast interviews we’ve done over the years was Our Evolutionary Need For Community, recorded with Peabody award-winning author Sebastian Junger.

    Since recording our initial interview with Sebastian, we’ve often shared the insights from it with the Peak Prosperity tribe at live events and in our writings. So this week we decided to reconnect with Sebastian, and hear how his thoughts and conclusions on the topic have evolved since we last talked with him.

    It’s clear that he believes more than ever that the future prosperity of our society will be rooted in rediscovering how to create and foster the communal bonds our tribal ancestors lived by. And that begins by taking an honest look at the narratives, behaviors, and modern conveniences and temptations that keep us trapped in unhappy, unhealthy isolation.

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  • Podcast

    Richard Gould: Learning From Ancient Human Cultures

    Were they happier than we are?
    by Adam Taggart

    Sunday, October 12, 2014, 4:17 PM


    Richard Gould is a Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Brown University (where I was his student) and one of the foremost experts on hunter-gatherer societies. In the 1960s, he and his wife spent years living with the aborigines in Australia's Western Desert, observing first-hand their way of life. Through study of these people and many others around the world, his work focused on understanding how human culture and behavior adapts to environmental stress, risk and uncertainty.

    We've invited him to this week's podcast to discuss what insights ancient cultures may be able to offer in terms of "natural human behavior" that may fit well within our specie's blueprint.

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  • Blog
    Ward Hooper

    Finding Your Way to Your Authentic Career

    Transition to the fulfilling work you were meant to do
    by Adam Taggart

    Friday, June 7, 2013, 2:22 AM


    Unfulfilled by your job? Wish the work you do on a daily basis were more aligned with the person you are (your interests and values)?

    You're not alone.

    In fact, the majority of workers would chose a different career path if given the chance.

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  • Insider
    © Jiri Hamhalter | Dreamstime.com

    Frustrated & Bored, Yet Happy

    At least being stuck in limbo offers time to prepare
    by Chris Martenson

    Friday, May 3, 2013, 12:10 AM


    I am happy, bored, and frustrated all at the same time. 

    My frustration is one I share with everyone who believes that fundamentals (a.k.a. 'reality') matter.  This frustration is fueled by the endlessly-propped financial markets in which good news and bad news are both good and worse news seems to be even better.  No matter what the latest headline might say, it seems to ignite a new round of buying of stocks, bonds, and anything else that the central banks deem worthy of dressing up. 

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  • Daily Digest
    Image by West Point Public Affairs, Flickr Creative Commons

    Daily Digest 3/29 – Cyprus Banks Reopen, U.S. Army Fights Brain Drain

    by DailyDigest

    Friday, March 29, 2013, 4:46 PM

    • It’s head for “the mattresses” time for savers worldwide
    • Cyprus banks reopen amid tight security and tough curbs
    • Cyprus – The Answer Is Uniastrum
    • Hundreds Of Armed Vigilantes Seize Mexican Town, Arrest Local Police
    • After court rules Hollande he can’t put 75% tax on salaries, French President vows to hit companies directly
    • Les misérables: Despite welfare state and wine, unhappiness reigns in France
    • Hollowed out: US Army fights brain drain
    • Highest paid banker on Wall Street suing renovators of neighbouring building for ruining view from his 360-degree glass penthouse 
    • Should airlines start charging passengers by the pound?
    • More Scientific Evidence Linking Fracking and Earthquakes
    • Money for aquaculture, but not wild salmon, critics note

    Read More »

  • Insider
    © Silent47 | Dreamstime.com

    Finding Authentic Happiness

    The steps that build a solid foundation
    by charleshughsmith

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 11:22 AM


    Executive Summary

    • Why buying into the Status Quo undermines personal empowerment
    • Echew debt and consumerism. Instead, focus on cultivating resilience and social capital
    • The importance of differentiating hedonia vs eudaimonia
    • The key roles of Expectation, Narrative, and Challenge
    • The foundations of happiness

    If you have not yet read Part I: The Pursuit of Happiness, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

    In Part I, we challenged the assumption that the successful pursuit of happiness is based on material prosperity and what we might call the psychology of the atomized individual.

    If material prosperity is necessary but insufficient, and our social and financial order is sociopathological, what does an authentic pursuit of happiness entail?

    For answers, we can survey recent research into human happiness, and consider “powering down” participation in a deranging social and financial order.

    Pondering Power

    The primacy of power in human society is omnipresent. Humans scramble for power in all its forms to improve social status and the odds of mating, living a long life, and acquiring comforts.  What is remarkable about the current American social order is the powerlessness of the vast majority of people who have “bought into” the Status Quo. 

    When the public vehemently disapproves of a policy, such as bailing out the “too big to fail” banks, they are routinely ignored, and for good reason: They keep re-electing incumbents.  Most have little control over their employment status, workflow, or income, and most devote the majority of their productive effort servicing private debt and paying taxes that service public debt.

    The one “power” they are encouraged to flex is the momentary empowerment offered by purchasing something; i.e., consuming.  The corporate marketing machine glorifies acquisition as not just empowering but as the renewal of identity and the staking of a claim to higher social status – everything that is otherwise out of the control of the average person.

    The dominant social control myth of our consumerist Status Quo is that wealth is power because you can buy more things with it.  But the power of consumption is one-dimensional and therefore illusory.  The only meaningful power is not what you can buy – a good, service, or experience – but what you control – your health, choice of work, income, surroundings, level of risk, and your circle of colleagues and friends.

    The “wealthy” who own an abundance of things but who are trapped in debt are not powerful.  Their choices in life are limited by the need to service the debt, and their pursuit of happiness is equally constrained.

    The kind of wealth that enriches the pursuit of happiness is control over the meaningful aspects of life. It is no coincidence that studies of workplace stress have found that those jobs in which the worker has almost no control over their work or surroundings generate far more stress than jobs that allow the worker some autonomy and control.

    Financial and material wealth beyond the basics of creature comfort is only meaningful if it “buys” autonomy and choice.

    We all want power over our own lives.  Once we free ourselves from social control myths, we find that becoming powerful and “wealthy” in terms of control does not require a financial fortune. It does, however, require sustained effort and a coherent long-term plan…

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  • Blog
    © Bolly | Dreamstime.com

    The Pursuit of Happiness

    Putting prosperity in context
    by charleshughsmith

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012, 11:21 AM


    What is the point of prosperity?

    Though few people ever voice this question openly, the general assumption is that prosperity and wealth increase happiness.  The pursuit of happiness (famously grouped with “life” and “liberty” in the Declaration of Independence as an inalienable right) has become the pursuit of prosperity and wealth.

    That physical comfort and security grease the skids of happiness is self-evident; living a hand-to-mouth existence inside a cardboard box is not as conducive to human happiness as having a comfortable home and secure income.

    But it is equally self-evident that a secure dwelling and income do not guarantee happiness; rather, they provide the physical foundation for the much more elusive qualities of happiness.  We can make the same distinction between the civil liberties that underpin the pursuit of happiness and the actual pursuit of happiness.

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  • Blog

    Daily Digest – July 20

    by Davos

    Monday, July 20, 2009, 3:07 PM

    • BIS, The Central Bank of all Central Bankers: The Central Bank WAS Warned in 2003 (Repost)
    • What Should a Central Bank Do When (Chart)
    • Happiness Isn’t …
    • Holders of Treasuries (Chart)
    • Philly Fed Index Dissapoints (Chart)
    • Whalen on Banking (Video)
    • U.S. bank “earnings”: revenues falling, losses rising
    • California closes state offices to save cash
    • The Usual Suspects (Humor)
    • State Tax (Chart on page)

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