I really enjoyed Lauren Benson’s podcast on “the high switch” which is something that can be triggered, through awe in nature, doings drugs, or attending raves. Our mirror neurons is what helps us to empathize with one another, and when our high switch is on, we can experience this. In addition, happiness is the result of being in the right relationships, and groups help us to unite with each other. The high switch is important because we live in a profane world, but the greatest joys are in the sacred world, where we come together as a whole. Interestingly, spirituality from our tribal days is so similar to spirituality people share at rave events. This is a non-religious way of experiencing spirituality. The DJ can be seen as the leader. The space gathered with people can be seen as one massive tribe of people. In addition, peoples’ heartbeats are matched to the beats of the music. There is a group consciousness, and when people partake in these events, and do drugs such as MDMA, then it is easy to let go of self-consciousness, and instead experience a group collectiveness.
Miguel’s podcast is on procrastination is very interesting. Just like him, I too procrastinate so much, that it has come to the point where I procrastinate even on the things I even want to do. He plays a clip from a TEDTalk on productivity, and I thought the “take the chocolate now rather than later” concept was silly yet true. People would rather have chocolate sooner, rather than have it later if that means more chocolate. However, if you’re asked the question, “would you want the box of chocolate in a year” or “would you want the box of chocolate with more added on in a year and a week”, then you would pick the later time for the bigger reward. When speaking about the future, we want what we can get most out of. This podcast shone a different light on procrastination which is usually associated with negativity. Miguel describes his typical go-to method with papers. Essays on sleepless nights… Starting on midnight…. A paragraph in at 2-3 am, then suddenly, a burst of productivity kicks in. He feels like he does his best work when he is under this time limited stress. When you are tired, your brain works with creative problems better. For an artist, it’s better to work with constraints. Procrastination gives time constraints, which can be helpful to creative people. Having deadlines gives you that stress, which allows your brain to work creatively. I can relate to this. After all, the best papers I’ve written were made on sleepless nights where I was completely focused on the paper I had to do since I was under stress.
In Response to “Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones”
In this comedic yet philosophical talk, Louis C.K. talks about why he is against getting his kids cellphones. He starts off talking about how people need to have the ability to be themselves. To just sit there, still, and be a person… rather than always having that urge to text people. Something he said which I found funny yet true, was that underneath everything, we have that thing… “forever empty” knowledge about life… that it is all for nothing and you’re all alone. It is down there. He has experienced this feeling, when he sits alone in the car. It’s the “Ohh… here it comes. I’m all alone” kind of feeling. It’s sad. He brings up how life is tremendously sad. “That’s why we text and drive,” he says. Louis sees many drivers texting and driving, which is dangerous and selfish, but people are willing to risk taking a life rather than risking their own because they don’t want to be alone for a second.
He talks about how sadness comes, but you should resist texting a million people saying “hi”, and instead, let the sadness hit you like a truck. He did this one day, and started crying, and described it as being a beautiful, poetic experience. “Let yourself feel sad,” he says, because your body has antibodies coming in to meet with your true profound happiness. It is because we don’t want that first bit of sadness, that we push it away. However, this leaves us never feeling completely sad, or completely happy. Then you did. He ends the talk by saying “That’s why I don’t want to get a phone for my kids.”
I found this talk to be very relevant to what we’ve been learning about the digital age. People are so connected to their digital devices, and it’s becoming harder to be alone and on your own, when you can text your friend in an instant. However, what benefit it is to feel that temporary happiness? At the end of the day, we are still ourselves, and we are still alone in a fleeting world. It’s sad, and it’s okay to feel sad about it. After you allow yourself to drown in your sadness, you will possibly feel a more powerful sensation of happiness and find more beauty in life.
You know how some music artists have certain albums that connect all their songs together into one big song (as long as you listen to all the songs in order)? If you don’t know what I’m talking about then I’d recommend listening to Pink Floyd’s album, “Dark Side of the Moon”, in sequential order of the songs. Another band I can think of that did the same thing, would be Coldplay, with their “Mylo Xyloto” album.
Well, the reason why I’m bringing this up is because recently I just experienced something even more mind-blowing. Daft Punk’s album, “Discovery”, is not just a typical music album. Not only do you have to listen to all their songs in order, but you have to watch the music videos. With everything combined, it is actually a movie – filled with amazing visuals, fitting music, and great vibes.
The movie’s title is “Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem”, which is about a blue skinned, interstellar pop band. Interstellar means “occurring or situated among the stars” according to the dictionary definition. So basically, the band members are from another planet. However, they are abducted from their alien planet and then forced to play music on earth. The movie is about the rescue of the “Crescendolls”, which is the name of the band. Meanwhile, another blue-skinned male, follows the abductors to earth in hopes of rescuing the band, but most importantly the female bassist, who he dreams about.
This is the most I can share with you, without ruining what happens in the movie. I know the description of the movie is very “daft”, meaning silly or foolish, but I think that was the point (hence, “daft punk” being the name of the band). The plot description is incomprehensible, but if you watched it, you’d see what the magic is all about.
The themes in this movie are very powerful. They involve love, loyalty, spirituality, and heroes whom are courageous and self-sacrificing. These values are important in the real world too, which is what makes this film so inspirational, moving, and something we can relate to.
This action packed movie is full of great music and art, which is full of different ranges of sound, mood, and colors. With all these aspects intertwined, a beautiful and meaningful story was created.
This Upworthy video is based on one of the biggest contributors to happiness — gratitude. “Think about that … You can thank me later if you want. It’ll make you feel better according to this study.”
In the video, scientists experiment on people by making them write a letter to someone who was important to them and made a difference in their lives. Then afterwards, these people were asked to call up the people who they wrote about, and to read them the letters.
“I’m about to cry because it’s so beautiful”, was the response of a mother after her son called her.
“Your friendship means everything, and you are one of the most important person in my life,” said a woman who called up her friend.
There were tears in the eyes of the people who called and talked to the people who influenced them, and shared their gratitude towards them… and I thought that was beautiful.
According to the research, those who took the time to write their letters but didn’t have time to make the phone call, had a happiness increase from 2-4%. However, those who actually picked up the phone and expressed their gratitude, had their happiness increase from 4-19%. So overall, expressing gratitude will make you a happier person. Also, the person with the biggest jump in happiness was the least happiest person to walk through the door. To sum it up, If you’re having a bad day or a tough time, trying this technique out will have a greater impact on you.
So why not express gratitude towards another individual? It’ll make you happier.
Note to reader: Acknowledge the title and read the article before seeing my response
This article caught my attention right off the bat. Someone I knew from church a long time ago had posted this on Facebook, and the title of the article really stuck out, so I knew I had to click on it.
What really interested me, was the fact that this article is called, “How to Get Flat Abs, Have Amazing Sex and Rule the World in 8 Easy Steps”, yet it’s not actually about how to achieve those things. Kate Bartolotta, the author of this article, points out that “get great abs” and “have amazing sex” is usually in the headlines of most men’s and women’s magazines. And it works right? “…we keep buying them. We keep buying this lie that these things will make us happy” (Bartolotta). After all, I clicked the link. I’m sure other people have clicked the link, wondering how they could achieve what was mentioned in the title as well.
As the author mentioned, the problem is that people are buying magazines and reading articles about these topics, thinking that it will make them happier human beings. Bartolotta states, “I’ve had washboard abs (past tense) and I’ve had some pretty phenomenal sex. Neither one made me a better person. Neither one completed me or made my life more fulfilling.”
I appreciate the article’s clever title. It really does capture peoples’ attention, because some people do think that happiness is achieved by the things mentioned in the title. However, the rest of the article talks about what actually contributes to a person’s happiness. Common things that people probably already know, like being thankful (showing gratitude), and apologizing and admitting when you’re wrong, etc… However, when you put them into practice, it actually does contribute to happiness. It’s a good feeling when you ace an exam you worked hard for right? Or when you help a friend out, when you’re having a bad day. Well, the same things goes for when you try to better yourself, you’ll achieve results, and that’ll make you a better person and it’ll make you happier too.
Some of you may have seen this video already. It was popular on Reddit a while ago, but I think that this Spoken Word poem is well worth the watch.
Below are the words to the poem, which I’d recommend reading after watching the video first.
The first time I saw her…
Everything in my head went quiet.
All the tics, all the constantly refreshing images just disappeared.
When you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you don’t really get quiet moments.
Even in bed, I’m thinking:
Did I lock the doors? Yes.
Did I wash my hands? Yes.
Did I lock the doors? Yes.
Did I wash my hands? Yes.
But when I saw her, the only thing I could think about was the hairpin curve of her lips..
Or the eyelash on her cheek—
the eyelash on her cheek—
the eyelash on her cheek.
I knew I had to talk to her.
I asked her out six times in thirty seconds.
She said yes after the third one, but none of them felt right, so I had to keep going.
On our first date, I spent more time organizing my meal by color than I did eating it, or fucking talking to her…
But she loved it.
She loved that I had to kiss her goodbye sixteen times or twenty-four times if it was Wednesday.
She loved that it took me forever to walk home because there are lots of cracks on our sidewalk.
When we moved in together, she said she felt safe, like no one would ever rob us because I definitely locked the door eighteen times.
I’d always watch her mouth when she talked—
when she talked—
when she talked—
when she talked
when she talked;
when she said she loved me, her mouth would curl up at the edges.
At night, she’d lay in bed and watch me turn all the lights off.. And on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off, and on, and off.
She’d close her eyes and imagine that the days and nights were passing in front of her.
Some mornings I’d start kissing her goodbye but she’d just leave cause I was
just making her late for work…
When I stopped in front of a crack in the sidewalk, she just kept walking…
When she said she loved me her mouth was a straight line.
She told me that I was taking up too much of her time.
Last week she started sleeping at her mother’s place.
She told me that she shouldn’t have let me get so attached to her; that this whole thing was a mistake, but…
How can it be a mistake that I don’t have to wash my hands after I touched her?
Love is not a mistake, and it’s killing me that she can run away from this and I just can’t.
I can’t – I can’t go out and find someone new because I always think of her.
Usually, when I obsess over things, I see germs sneaking into my skin.
I see myself crushed by an endless succession of cars…
And she was the first beautiful thing I ever got stuck on.
I want to wake up every morning thinking about the way she holds her steering wheel..
How she turns shower knobs like she’s opening a safe.
How she blows out candles—
blows out candles—
blows out candles—
blows out candles—
blows out candles—
Now, I just think about who else is kissing her.
I can’t breathe because he only kisses her once — he doesn’t care if it’s perfect!
I want her back so bad…
I leave the door unlocked.
I leave the lights on.
When I watched Neil Hilborn’s performance, I felt like I was in his shoes for the 2 minutes and 52 seconds that he talked. The way he expressed himself was very interesting to me. I personally am a bit of a germaphobe, so I know what it’s like to be anxious about dirtiness on my hands lingering around, and the relief to be able to wash it off. But to see Hilborn repeat words over and over again as he presented his poem was very compelling to me, because it opened my eyes to what it’s like to have a more extreme case of OCD. Often, he’d repeat the same word over and over again in his poem – the obsession of repeating words and doing something a certain number of times, is something I wouldn’t even be able to understand since I have never experienced that myself.
However, while I listened to him perform, I pictured myself in his shoes. It’s upsetting to know that he suffers from his OCD, and that it affects his day to day life. Not only that, but to watch the love of his life slip right through his fingers because of his disorder is extremely tragic.
I really appreciate that Hilborn presented this poem in this way about his disorder. It shines a light on all the people who suffer from OCD, and are unacknowledged. The way he presented this was also very attention grabbing. In under 3 minutes, I was able to grasp a better understanding of OCD and it made me feel something. This kind of creative expression creates an impact on the audience, and that’s something to keep in mind.