Life and everything...
This section is about our daily lives.
It covers relationships, children, work, play, jealousy and gossip to mention a few.
The first three videos cover relationships and children in family life:
Healthy Family Relationships:
The Family Meeting:
How To Outsmart Your Kids With Child Psychology:
The connection between your intimate relationship with someone, to money, happiness and well-being:
Happiness in your intimate relationship is far more important than anything else in determining personal well-being. If you have a successful intimate relationship, it doesn’t matter how many setbacks in your working environment you have, you will be reasonably happy. If you have an unsuccessful intimate relationship, it doesn’t matter how many triumphs in your career you may have, you will remain for the most part unfulfilled.
Teams of researchers over the past few decades have been studying happiness with impressive rigor. A key finding of their work is that just as the sages of old predict, interpersonal relationships permeate through all, while worldly success has shallow roots.
The relationship between happiness and income is difficult to tease out, and after certain point becomes thin. However, research does show that poor nations become happier as they become middle-class nations, but once people have the basic necessities, further income is only slightly connected to well-being. People in countries with a slower growth rate are happier than in growing countries, say Carol Graham of the Brookings Institution, and Eduardo Lora.
They also mention that the USA is considerably richer than 50 years ago, but this has produced no measurable increase in overall happiness. However, it has also become a much more unequal country, but the new inequality doesn’t seem to have reduced national happiness much.
Also, contrary to what many would believe, findings show that winning the lottery doesn’t produce lasting gains in well-being. Over a lifetime, people aren’t as happy during the years when they are at their peak careerwise. People are happiest in their 20’s, suffer a dip in middle age, then generally speaking hit their peak happiness around 65, just after retirement.
Fortunately, if the relationship between money and well-being seems complicated, the correspondence between personal relationships and happiness is not. Happiness is most associated with sex, socializing after work, and having dinner with others, while the activity seen as most injurious to happiness is commuting. One study shows that joining a group that meets only once a month produces the same level of happiness as doubling your income. Another shows that being married produces a gain equivalent to more than 100,000 US dollars a year.
Countries with high levels of social trust generally have happier people, better health, more efficient government, more economic growth, and less fear of crime (regardless of whether the actual crime rates are increasing or decreasing).
Overall, the impression from this research is that economic and professional success sits on the surface of life, and that these emerge out of interpersonal relationships, which are much deeper and far more important.
A further impression is that most people pay attention to the wrong things, by vastly overestimating the extent to which more money would improve their lives. Most schools and colleges in Western cultures spend far too much time preparing students for careers, and not enough preparing them to live in a social world. This may stem in part from most governments releasing lots of data on economic trends, but not enough on trust and other social conditions. To summarize, Western societies in particular have developed vast institutions oriented around the things that are easy to count, but not around the things that matter most. This filters down to people so they form affinities for material concerns, and a fear of moral and social issues.
But, this may be changing. Books such as “The Hidden Wealth of Nations” by David Halpern, and “The Politics of Happiness” by Derek Bok, argue that public institutions should pay more attention to well-being and not just narrowly conceived material growth.
To conclude, Governments go on initiating policies that in reality aren't what the majority need. They think (and we are led to believe) that if they offer prosperity, it is what people really want. However, they get sacked time and again, due to their inadequacy to see the deeper reality of what makes societies stable and happy.
The following video could also go in the "Connectedness" page as it refers to making and maintaining connections at work:
Relationships At Work: David Batstone:
YouTube - Relationship at Work - David Batstone
Keeping healthy into old age:
This short article could equally go in the Purpose Of Life Section. Dr. Oz offers the advice that recent studies show that early retirement comes with risks - especially to your brain. Researchers from the RAND Center for the Study of Aging and the University of Michigan have recently published a study showing that cognitive performance levels drop earlier in countries that have younger retirement ages.
They propose several reasons, saying retirement can often be lonely, and can take you away from an lively social environment. Social interaction is thought to be necessary in establishing what they term "cognitive reserve," a brain-backup system that allows you to function normally despite age-related brain damage.
Many people after retiring feel also less motivated to participate in mentally stimulating activities. For example, you may no longer need to read the business section to study the competition, indeed, you may not read the paper at all. These are both variations on the "Use it or lose it" theory of cognition.
Instead of treating retirement as a time to take it easy, Dr. Oz proposes a different path: In Japan they call it "ikigai", which means "the reason for which we wake up in the morning." Finding that reason for living is critical, especially in the United States and other Western orientated environments, where so much of our ikigai seems tied to our careers.
He suggests identifying activities that you enjoy, and that will go a long way to help maintain your cognitive health. The best activities combine social engagement, physical activity, and intellectual stimulation. Dancing is a good example.
Try to explore these brain-stimulating hobbies before retiring. As some would have it, just as you need a financial plan for retirement, more importantly you should have a mental plan too.
Our Changing Family Life
Our Changing Family Life is a film about the role of the family in American life from the 1880's over the following 75 years. It shows the traditional division of labor in a typical farm family of the time, and the strong role religion played within it.
At the turn of the 20th century there were many changes - many due to working in factories. Factories hired individuals, not families, so started the rise of the role of the individual. Also around this time, the rise of women in the workplace, and the advent of easy travel also brought huge changes. World War II further stretched family ties.
By the middle of the 20th century, loneliness begins to play a bigger part in people's lives - especially for the middle aged, due to weakening family ties, and the increasing role of the self. The film concludes that the family unit has changed a great deal in this period. Indeed, it has changed a great deal more since then: