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We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

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World Renowned Bloggers

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

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The Pursuit of Happiness

June 24, 2013, 12:00 AM
Weil_well_being_vitality

The word happiness, derived from a Norse root meaning luck or fortune, encapsulates the essential flaw in how most of us go about looking for it. We tend to view happiness as an all-or-nothing, potentially permanent state, and as something that’s visited upon or snatched away from us by chance. Lost your job? You’re unhappy. Just fell in love? Happy. The idea that "true happiness" is of a uniformly high emotional pitch, and our tendency to expect it from external things ironically ends up causing us a great deal of suffering. 

The holistic health practitioner Dr. Andrew Weil, along with most psychologists these days, more often uses the term well-being, which recognizes that a wide range of emotions are possible and perfectly normal in a psychologically healthy person. Weil goes even farther, citing research that suggests that the common, non-crippling form of depression, usually treated as a pathology, may actually be an evolutionary adaptation that helps people with focus and problem solving. 

Video: Andrew Weil on the Pursuit of Happiness

In Spontaneous Happiness, his five-part workshop for Big Think Mentor, Weil teaches a program designed to protect and enhance emotional well-being through specific lifestyle changes. You’ll learn to:

- Take a holistic and realistic approach to unlocking “spontaneous happiness.”

- Integrate Eastern and Western approaches to positive psychology.

- Use specific breathing exercises and meditations designed to develop mindfulness

- Optimize your diet to support emotional well-being

- Build physical habits that support emotional well-being

More from the Big Idea for Monday, June 24 2013

Spontaneous Happiness

Holistic health expert Dr. Andrew Weil sees an emotional health crisis in America. Not only are an alarming number of people suffering from mild to severe depression, the biomedical model is faili... Read More…

 

The Pursuit of Happiness

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