Life Lessons from the Inside

Did you know that psychopaths can teach you things about happiness? Really.

In researching his landmark book, “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success,” scientist Kevin Dutton visited Broadmoor, England’s best-known high-security psychiatric hospital. He , interviewed psychopaths whose most typical traits included, among other things, fearlessness, mental toughness, and mindfulness.

How does these apply to anyone who is not, presumably, a psychopath? Well, listen to one of the patients, Leslie. He maintained that he himself had no experience with fear but that, “ . . . most of the time it’s completely unwarranted anyway . . . Ninety-nine percent of the things people worry about never happen. So what’s the point?”
Out of the mouths of psychopaths… So, what’s the point? Are you wasting your time and your life afraid of things that never happen anyway?

Let’s look at the science of both mindfulness and happiness, as a way of answering that.

You may wonder if there even is a science of mindfulness and happiness. Science can be defined as “the state of knowing: knowledge as distinguished from ignorance or misunderstanding,” or as “something (as a sport or technique) that may be studied or learned like systematized knowledge.” I and my co-author TC North have each studied mindfulness as a phenomena, and here are some of the things we’ve discovered.

Here are the basics:

  1. Our lives are healthier and can be better lived as an ongoing integration of our daily experience when we accept that something is – such as discomfort, stress, unhappiness AND when we can choose to refocus this “energy” based upon the situations that present themselves to us during moments as measured by time, hour by hour, day by day and week by week.
  2. These moments are “nonjudgmental” and help us create a momentary balance under great pressure, stress, fear or other states of a loss of joy.
  3. We engage in this state of mindfulness when we experience stress or pain and also when we suspend less-than-positive feelings in an effort to be joyful in the moment.

For example, I am a mother. I have a daughter. My child is unhappy and suffering as a result of loss from divorce. As her mother, I feel a connection to her loss and can grieve with her; at the same time, however, as her mother, I can feel hopeful because I know that she is capable of recovery and I will not only assist her by supporting her well-being, but also continue to keep my own life in balance and participate in my own well-being during her journey to heal. I do this knowing that the alternative is to spiral down with her.

Why is the science of mindfulness so important to our individual collective consciousness? The innovative science of mindfulness take fearless leaders to a new level of potential or performance by focusing on being in the present, the now, in total balance with one’s skills, talents and life experience.

Most important, it does this without judgment to sharpen focus, improve our attention, lift our mood and deepen our overall life satisfaction.

So: Are you fearless right now?

How fearless do you think you can be?

Ask yourself what you’re capable of.

And let me know. Thanks for sharing.

For questions about this post or for information on becoming a fearless leader, contact Dr. Cathy Greenberg and The Fearless Leader Group at (888) 320-1299 or by email at hello@fearlessequalsfreedom.com.

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