Don't Worry - Be Happy

By Adam Glasgow - 8/12/2019

 

Annual Patient Run Support Group (APRSG)

Wednesday, August 14, 7pm

It ONLY happens once a year.

Don’t miss it.

 

Several months ago, I read Amy Cuddy’s thought provoking article on happiness which was published in the Boston Globe. Here is the link so that you too can read it.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2019/05/16/looking-for-happiness-try-purpose-instead/urhn1rvUiyNzPyFzR4RncI/story.html

 

Thus began a contemplation of what it means to be happy and to be prosperous (here defined as having plenty of what we truly need and want in life, material and otherwise) and how best to access those states of consciousness. Rather than just “Google” for an answer (apologies to my brother who is a Google engineer) I decided to consult some primary sources.

 

For the last several weeks, The Art of Happiness - A Handbook for Living by the Dalai Lama has been my seaside reading while relaxing in Maine.  In between searching for sea glass with Jordana and dips in the frigid Maine waters, the book provided much insight and inspiration.  I was somewhat wistful at finishing the book and was even contemplating rereading it - when Jordana offered me Creating True Prosperity by Shakti Gawain - one of her favorite authors.  I read it that same day - interrupted only by the need to apply more sunscreen.

 

As I began to reflect on these three musings, I recalled a book that I had read several years ago - Daniel Pink’s Drive - a fascinating discussion of what motivates us.  The stunning and possibly counterintuitive conclusion - it is not fame, it is not fortune, and it’s not even the fear of failure or of punishment.  Studies have shown that what motivates people more than anything else - is having a sense of purpose. Purpose - combined with a sense of autonomy (the freedom to plot our own course) and a desire for mastery (the pursuit of increased skill and ability) is what “drives” us all.  In many ways, Pink’s book foreshadowed Amy’s essay.

 

So how do happiness, prosperity, and purpose relate to weight loss? Very intimately.  After 15 years, and interactions with nearly 2500 individuals, it is clear to me that while many folks are overweight and happy - they are not as happy as they might be nor as happy as they aspire to be.  Do they enjoy prosperity - yes to a degree - but rarely to they have all that they need or want with regard to health, opportunity, and or self esteem. What folks do have - though they may not realize it - is purpose, autonomy, and  an opportunity for mastery. The purpose is of course to lose weight. The autonomy derives from the simple fact that NOBODY but them chooses what goes in their mouths. And lastly, the chance to eat more healthily and more mindfully, as well as to get more exercise, and to come for consistent follow-up - those can always be improved upon.

 

The Annual Patient Run Support Group (APRSG) is this Wednesday night at 7 pm.  Early walkers depart at 6:15. I can’t think of a better opportunity to share with your friends and peers what makes you happy, what makes you feel prosperous, and what gives you a sense of purpose.  The APRSG is just that - patient run - so obviously you can talk about whatever you want and pass the time however you please. My thoughts are just a starting point, a gentle nudge, or maybe even a match to light the fire.

 

Have a wonderful meeting.  I’ll be thinking of you all.  I look forward to seeing you at our next group, September 18th, if not sooner.

 

With sincerest wishes for happiness, prosperity, and purpose.

 

Adam

 

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