In a previous post (“The Relevance of Career Success in Personal Fulfilment”), I shared with you the happiness formula which derived from years of research by top scientists. As a reminder, here it is again: H = S + C + V
H — stands for happiness.
S — stands for the set point in the brain, which accounts for 50% of our happiness experience.
C — stands for conditions of living, which accounts for 12% of our happiness experience.
V — stands for voluntary choices, which accounts for 38% of our happiness experience.
Given that 50% of our happiness experience on a daily basis is based on how our brain’s neural network is configured, the obvious question is: Are people that are biologically predisposed to be pessimistic, doomed from the start?
The old theory was that infants mapped their neural networks as a natural part of their development, after which the process stopped and the brain became hardwired. Recent scientific findings assure us that this no longer holds true. Thanks to a concept known as neuroplasticity, the brain can remodel and remap its connections. You have total influence over the form and structure of your brain.
Because your brain is fully adaptable, malleable and flexible, as you are reading this article, your brain is remodelling itself right now. You can promote neuroplasticity simply by exposing yourself to new experiences. In fact, the most powerful experience at your disposal to alter your brain, especially for career success and overall happiness, is through the daily practice of silent meditation.
In a recent study by researchers at the University of California (UCLA), the scientists found that regular meditators have enhanced capacities when it comes to decision making, emotional awareness, attention and focus. The study showed how people who meditate twice a day for 15 to 20 minutes, can easily move from habitual negative feeling states including depression, stress and anxiety to an expanded experience of emotional wellbeing and happiness.
The bottom line is that your brain is incredibly dynamic — you are not “hardwired.” Our brains are incredibly resilient and flexible; the marvellous process of neuroplasticity gives you the capability, in your thoughts, feelings, and actions, to develop in any direction you choose, and that includes the direction of happiness and career success.
I would like to know your thoughts on this topic — please write your comments below.
César Gamio Master Educator, Chopra Center University
Senior Advisor to the Global Center for Conscious Leadership