Compassion is a Strength

The average American with a full-time job works 1,700 hours a year. That’s a lot of hours. Given how much time we spend with our co-workers, shouldn't we want to build happier relationships with them? If you value your time then learn to become happier at work by learning to value more those around you. Start by showing them greater compassion.


Unfortunately, compassion gets a bad rap, especially in the business world where the "rules" often seem to follow the law of the jungle. Sharon Salzberg, a Buddhist meditation expert and the co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society, wants to change that.  The author of Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace, Salzberg talked to Big Think about redefining happiness. It’s not a big house, a sports car, and a high-powered job that makes people happy. Again and again, research has shown that our true happiness stems from the quality of our relationships, how connected we feel with others.

“We can redefine happiness so that it’s not just pleasure and endless pleasure seeking and being superficial and being like happy go lucky,” says Salzberg. “To having a deep, deep sense of resiliency and connection to a bigger picture. We would be a lot happier and success – our sense of what success is – would follow that.”

Part of deepening the bonds in our life and feeling connected to a greater purpose means living a life of compassion. If you feel as though your life has fallen short in the relationship department, try practicing greater compassion towards yourself and others. It’s a balancing act, says Salzberg. You don’t want to be too giving and then deplete the energy you need to make your own life thrive.

For more on how to strike this balance and why compassion is a strength that can lead you to greater happiness, watch this clip from Big Think’s interview with Salzberg:

How to make time for exercise — even on your craziest days

A new study shows choosing to be active is a lot of work for our brains. Here are some ways to make it easier.

Personal Growth

There's no shortage of science suggesting that exercise is good for your mental as well as your physical health — and yet for many of us, incorporating exercise into our daily routines remains a struggle. A new study, published in the journal Neuropsychologia, asks why. Shouldn't it be easier to take on a habit that is so good for us?

Keep reading Show less

Juice is terrible for children. Why do we keep giving it to them?

A glass of juice has as much sugar, ounce for ounce, as a full-calorie soda. And those vitamins do almost nothing.

Pixabay user Stocksnap
popular

Quick: think back to childhood (if you've reached the scary clown you've gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you're anything like most parents, it was juice. But here's the thing: juice is bad for you. 

Keep reading Show less

Why American history lives between the cracks

The stories we tell define history. So who gets the mic in America?

Videos
  • History is written by lions. But it's also recorded by lambs.
  • In order to understand American history, we need to look at the events of the past as more prismatic than the narrative given to us in high school textbooks.
  • Including different voices can paint a more full and vibrant portrait of America. Which is why more walks of American life can and should be storytellers.
Keep reading Show less