#260 The Science of Happiness | Emiliana Simon-Thomas
In this episode, at this fraught moment in history, we’re bringing on a leading scientist to help us tackle one of the most pernicious misconceptions that humans have ever fostered. The very roots of the word “happiness” reflect our assumption that happiness is something that happens to us, rather than something we can cultivate. “Hap” is the same root of words such “hapless,” or “haphazard.” It implies luck. But again, happiness is a skill that we can cultivate. Emiliana Simon-Thomas helps people learn this skill for themselves. Her online course -- the Science of Happiness -- has reached over half a million people worldwide. She’s the science director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley. And in this interview, we discuss how to make ourselves happier through generosity, which is literally part of our biology; how the pleasure of caring for others means we’ll do it again. How empathy fatigue is real -- and I debate with Emiliana about the meaning of selfishness. And, how we’ve got love wrong. Before we dive in, I want to flag that this is a conversation we recorded late last year, prior to the pandemic and recent racial justice protests in America, but the insights are as vital as ever.
Where to find Emiliana Simon-Thomas online:
You can find meditations on compassion and much more on our app. Visit tenpercent.com to download the Ten Percent Happier app and kickstart your meditation practice. Visit tenpercent.com to sign up today.
Other Resources Mentioned:
- Tania Singer
- Bill Harbaugh
- Darryl Cameron, compassion collapse
- Tonglen practice
- Love 2.0 by Barbara Fredrickson