Hội Thảo Bậc Thầy Tư Duy - Marci Shimoff

Uploaded by linminfang on 25.03.2012

T Harv Eker: I had a certain schedule that I was doing for this course as usual, and
as usual, as a wizard you have to be a little flexible when opportunities come up. Yes or
Audience: Yes!
T Harv Eker: And so an opportunity came up, and I decided that I wanna take this opportunity
because a close friend of mine, who is an amazing person, wrote a new book, and her
new book is called Happy for No Reason. And it just came out last week, and it’s an
instant bestseller. It went to number one on Amazon right away. It debuted on number
two on the New York Times list, the advice is which is by far, and I know this, the hardest
list to get on, selling well over 20,000 copies in it’s very first week. Good or good?
Audience: Good!
T Harv Eker: And it’s number two on New York Times, number two on Wall Street Journal
as a debut. She’s also another featured guest on the movie The Secret, and she is
definitely one of the biggest-selling authors in the history for women because she has been
on the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, she has six bestselling books including Chicken
Soup for the Woman’s Soul and Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul, and those have been
on the New York Times list for 108 weeks. Good or good?
Audience: Good!
T Harv Eker: Selling over 30 million copies in 33 languages. Good?
Audience: Yes!
T Harv Eker: And she has been, for years, on national radio and talk shows. Last week,
she appeared on the Today Show. I think it was last night she appeared or the night before
on the Donny Deutsch Show on The Big Idea. Next week, she’s on Montel Williams co-hosting
with Montel on one of the shows, Montel Williams On Happiness, and she’s eagerly awaiting
her debut on Oprah.
And since she’s a friend of mine and since I saw her books skyrocket, and since she just
happened to be here in town doing something here last night, I said, “Please, can you
come by and just spend a few minutes with us?” And so she said, “Yes,” and she’s
here, and would you help me welcome Marci Shimoff!
Marci Shimoff
Marci Shimoff: Careless and free for me. Set my spirit free. I want you deep inside of
me. I will always be happy. Happy for no reason, happy for no reason, happy for no reason,
I’m so happy for no reason, happy for no reason, happy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank
you. Thank you. Thank you.
Whoa. This is better than going on Oprah. You know, you all have a reputation. Wherever
I go, people always tell me that the best group of people in the entire world to speak
to is Harv’s group. And man, are they right. This is amazing.
I have to say, this has been a whirlwind week. I’ve worked on this book for five years,
and you always hope that you’re gonna—you know, I had, when my first Chicken Soup for
the Woman’s Soul book came out 12 years ago, it shot to number one on the New York
Times bestseller list that week, and everybody said, “That never happens. That’ll never
happen again.”
So I was, you know, hoping maybe we’d go to 15. I was on the Today Show last week with
Meredith Vieira and I thought, maybe we’d go to 15. That's the breakoff point to hit
the list. So they called me two days ago and they said, “Oh, Marci, you’re not 15.”
I said, “Oh, okay. I can be happy for no reason anyway.” And then they said, “You’re
number two!”
I said, “Okay, I’ll be happy for good reason, then.” So it has just been a phenomenon.
And for those of you who are wondering what was number one, it was a small little book
that you’ve never heard of. It was something called The Secret or something like that.
So actually, people have pointed out to me that I really was number one and number two.
We’re here today to talk about happiness and you. Now, how many of you would like to
have more joy, peace and happiness in your life? Let me just see a show of hands here.
Okay. Does anybody in here wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “Gee, what
could I do today that’d be really miserable?” No, it doesn’t happen.
But one thing that we all want, that people have wanted since time immemorial, is to be
happy. And nowadays, everything’s about happiness. Everywhere you turn, there’s
a TV show on happiness, some of you might have seen 20/20 last week, it was a whole
hour on happiness, and there is so much interest in happiness these days. Why is there so much?
Because we have an epidemic of unhappiness in our society.
According to the research, one out of five women in America is on antidepressants. One
out of five. Two out of three people are unhappy in our society. Two out of three. That's a
lot. Right now, I’d like you to turn and look to the person to your right, if you would,
and turn and look to the person to your left. Only one of you is okay. Not in this room.
I know that didn’t work in this room.
So here’s the deal. We’re working harder, we have more than we’ve ever had, and yet
we’re unhappier than ever. There's something wrong with this picture. At the same time,
here’s the great news. The great news is that we have cracked the code on happiness.
It is the first time in history ever that science actually knows how we can raise our
happiness levels. This should be headline news everywhere. This is the most important
thing that people have ever wanted, and we know how to do it, and it’s not been headline
news but it’s starting to really catch on.
Now, I’m here tonight and I’m going to share with you the most cutting-edge, revealing
stuff that we have found out about how you can raise your happiness level. But before
we do that, I want to share with you why I believe unhappiness is such an epidemic, and
it could be summarized in one word. The word is “stress.”
How many of you have stress in your lives? Let me just see a show of hands. Okay, those
of you who aren’t raising your hands are dead. As long as we’re alive, we all have
stress, and stress is very happiness-robbing. Now, I’ve done some research on stress,
and I’ve found that there are five main stressors in our society that people have.
I’m gonna quickly go through these, and I want you to see if you have any of these
The first stress that many people in our society have is the stress of going to work. You know,
80% of Americans don’t like what they’re doing. Here’s what we look like. In the
morning, we’re okay. We’re pretty happy. We look okay. We’re a happy camper. We end
our days, however, looking like this. Now, some of you start your days looking like this.
You know who you are.
Second main stress we have in our society is the stress of kids. How many of you have
kids? How many of you have ever wanted to do this to your kids? Uh-oh, a guy in the
front row said that is his kid. We aren’t advocating this.
The third main stress that we have is the stress of communicating. Particularly, male-female
communications can be challenging. Women here, I want you to answer this question with me.
The number one complaint that women have in communicating with men is that they don’t
what? They don’t…? I have a very smart audience here today. They don’t listen.
Here is an example of a husband not listening to his wife. She says to him, “I’ve got
really bad menstrual cramps.” He says, “I know just how you feel.”
Fourth main stress: Stress of not having enough time to get everything done in a given day.
You’ve been there? My parents in their 80s have sent me this. It says, “God put me
on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now, I am so far behind I will
never die.” Great philosophy for 80-year-olds.
The fifth and final stress in our society is the stress of money. Now, I know that what
you’re doing here is all about reversing that stress, but I thought I’d bring a little
tip with me to help out. It’s a little old financial tip that comes from Snoopy. He wrote
a letter to the IRS and it reads, “Dear IRS, I would like to cancel my subscription.
Please remove my name from your mailing list.”
They’re gonna get a rash of letters from this group, I can tell. So if you have any
of these stresses, I think that you will appreciate the tips and the findings that I have to share
with you. I have two goals whenever I go to speak anywhere, and Harv was right, I literally—you
can hear my voice. I’ve been on radio tours and TV tour for an entire week and my voice
is not normally like this. I got a call just the other day and he said, “Come on by.”
I mean, synchronicity, I happen to be here, so I’m just really, really thrilled to be
So whenever I go to speak anywhere, I have two goals. One goal is that we laugh and have
a good time. I have no problems with this group about knowing that that's going to happen.
But my second and deeper goal is that our short time here together tonight in some way
inspires each of us to go home and make our lives happier.
My goal would be, one year from today—today is January 19th, 18th, sorry, I gotta be here
now, not tomorrow, January 18, 2009—you look back and you say, “My life is different
now. I am happier now because of the decisions, choices and habits that I decided to do this
weekend here right now.”
Now, the only way that happens is if you decide to make changes, if you change your habits.
I heard Harv talking about the habit change. I researched people who are happy for no reason.
I researched a hundred, interviewed a hundred unconditionally happy people, and I found
that the only difference between them and everybody else is that they have different
habits. And I uncovered 21 core happiness habits that these people have, and I’m gonna
share some of them with you.
Now, I know that you all know how resistant we human beings can be to habit. Half of you
have done the habit demonstration, but for the half of you that haven’t done it, I
want you to humor me and do it with me because I do it differently than the rest of the world,
just to show you we have a hard time changing our habits.
Fold your hands. You know this one, half of you. How many of you have your right thumbs
on top? Raise your hand. According to the research, they say you are better thinkers.
You’re smarter than the rest of us, so you knew that, right? How many of you have your
left thumbs on top? They say you’re sexier. We have a very sexy group here tonight. In
every group of this size, there are always a few of you who have both thumbs on top like
that. You just think you’re sexier.
Here’s the real demonstration. Put your hands back the way they were originally. Lift
up all your fingers and both thumbs. Shift them down and put your opposite thumb on top.
And how does that feel? Weird, awkward and uncomfortable. This is why people don’t
like to change their old habits, but you’ve gotta go through the period of feeling weird,
awkward and uncomfortable.
Just for fun, fold your arms, and some of you are trying to figure out which arm to
put on top to be sexier. Unfold your arms and put your other arm on top. You know, most
people can’t even figure out how to do that. So, please keep an open mind to changing some
Now, let me just give you a little bit of a back story here about why I decided to write
a book on happiness. I’ve spent 25 years of my career teaching success principles,
teaching the law of attraction, but the reason I decided to write a book on happiness, and
actually it was the first question Harv asked me when he saw me tonight, was because of
this person.
Now, how many of you know who this person is? Who is that? God, you guys are psychic.
Did you meet him? This is my dad. His name is Mark. Say hi to Mark.
Audience: Hi, Mark!
Marci Shimoff: He passed away two years ago on Valentine’s Day, but oh, he’s totally
right here, let me tell you. He is here now. He was my first happy for no reason role model.
My dad, he was an amazing man. See, he even gets applause when he’s dead, you know.
He’s that kind of guy.
He woke up every morning of his life with a smile on his face. It didn’t matter what
was going on. He was just happy to be alive. I, on the other hand, did not win the happiness
jackpot at birth. I came out of the womb with existential angst. While all the other kids
were watching Romper Room, I was the 5-year-old, the brooding 5-year-old, in the corner worrying
about the condition of the world.
So, when I was about 19, I was driving down the road with my dad, and I looked at him
and I said, “Dad, what’s your best advice for life?” And he looked at me and he said
four words, and these are the four words. He said, “Honey, just be happy,” at which
point I threw my arms in the air and I said, “That's easy for you to say, Dad. You are
just happy, anyway. What do I do?”
He looked at me and he said four more words. He said, “Honey, I don’t know.” That
was 30 years ago, and I have spent those 30 years to answer that question of how do I
become happy. And the great mystery of life, I have interviewed all of the top experts
in the field of positive psychology, neuroscientists, and actually, this is between us, they weren’t
all that happy.
So that's why I decided to actually go straight to the horse’s mouth and interview the people
who really were living what I was talking about, the state of happy for no reason. And
at first, I have to tell you, it wasn’t all that easy to find them. I would ask people,
“Who’s the happiest person you know?” And they’d say, “Oh, John, he’s the
happiest person we know.” And then they’d think, “You know what, he’s the most successful
but he’s not really happy.”
And it took a while but I found these happy hundred, and the reason that I call this happy
for no reason is that most people are out there trying to accumulate all of the things
in life that they think will make them happy, the things and the circumstances that they
think will make them happy.
We live in a society of where I call—we have two myths, the Myth of More, the more
I have, the happier I’ll be, and the Myth of I’ll Be Happy When. “I’ll be happy
when I get a raise,” “I’ll be happy when I find the right partner,” and the
ever popular, “I’ll be happy when I lose 20 pounds.” Those have been found scientifically
to be myths.
The research shows that over the poverty line, once you are over the poverty line, and that
is everybody here in this room, there is no difference in happiness level based on income.
In fact, 40% of the Forbes Wealthiest 100 People are unhappier than the average American.
It’s also been found that we have a faulty ability to assess what’s gonna make us happy
in the future.
Daniel Gilbert is a Harvard psychologist who has written a book called Stumbling on Happiness,
and he says we cannot determine how we’re gonna feel in the future based on a particular
event and that we’re never quite as happy as we think, and once a great thing happens—I
mean, I have to tell you, Wednesday I was high as a kite, but then you get acclimated,
and you know what it’s gonna next week to make me happy? Number one.
So that's why what I call happy for good reason is fine, but it’s not lasting. It’s not
the real deal. We’re here for the real deal, the whole enchilada, the happy for no reason,
which I define as this. Happy for no reason is a neurophysiological state of peace and
well-being that doesn’t depend on circumstances. That's the key, and it’s actually in the
brain. It’s in the body.
Now, here’s the coolest thing that they have found about happiness, and that is that
we all have a happiness set point, and what that means is that no matter what happens
to us, we hover around the same happiness level unless we do something consciously to
change it. So they found that people who won the lottery, which you know we all think,
“Oh, that's the golden ticket to happiness,” people who have won the lottery, within one
year they have returned to their original happiness level.
The same is true of paraplegics. Within one year, they have actually also returned to
their original happiness level. So it’s not the outside stuff. The happiness set point
is based on three things. It’s 50% genetic. You’re born with it. It’s only 10% circumstantial.
That's the things. And it’s 40% based on your habits of thoughts, behaviors, feelings,
what we’re here talking about. That's the part that we can do something about.
So it’s just like you could raise the thermostat at home to get warmer on a cold day. You can
actually raise your happiness set point to become happier, and you don’t have to become
thinner or richer or smarter to do it. That's amazing.
So we have had it, and I say this in The Secret, we have it backwards in our society. We think
that success is gonna bring us happiness, but in fact it’s happiness that brings us
success. Here are some of the fringe benefits of happiness. People who are happier are 35%
less likely to get sick, they live 7 years longer, they have better relationships, they
are more successful, and they make more money. They make almost a million dollars more in
their lifetime.
So the fringe benefits are there, but we’re going about it backwards. In fact, Albert
Schweitzer has this beautiful saying, the one that I said in The Secret. I actually
didn’t know that I was quoting him in The Secret. It says, “Success is not the key
to happiness. Happiness is the key to success.”
So I distilled down, as I mentioned to you, these 21 core principles of happiness habits,
and I’m gonna share with you five of them tonight. The first happiness habit of happy
people—oh, first my little cartoon here. It says, “All I want is a chance to prove
that money can’t make me happy.” You’ve been there, right?
These are two dogs. One of them says, “I’ve got the bowl, the bone, the big yard. I know
I should be happy.” So, Happiness Habit Number One. “Don’t believe everything
you think.” Now, how many of you talk to yourselves during the day? Let me just see
a show of hands here. Okay, those of you who aren’t raising your hands are saying to
yourselves, “I don’t know. Do I think to myself? Maybe I do.”
We all think to ourselves all day long. They’re called thoughts. And if you saw The Secret,
you’ll know the answer to this question. On average, how many thoughts does a person
have in a day? You listened carefully. We have 60,000 thoughts a day.
I was actually giving a talk one time to a roomful of truck drivers. They were all men.
I was the only woman in the room. There were about 500 or 600 of them. I asked them the
same question. How many thoughts a day do you have? They looked at me and they said,
“Oh, Marci that is a simple question to answer. We have only one thought a day.”
I said, “No, no, no. You have 60,000 thoughts a day. It’s just that they’re all about
one thing.” They said, “You got our number.” Now, for the average person, and for all of
us, what percentage of our thoughts today are the same thoughts that we had yesterday
and the day before? Oh, you guys know this. Ninety-five percent of our thoughts are the
same thoughts today as we had yesterday and the day before.
I’m gonna prove this to you. If you’ve done this before, please do not participate.
I’d like you to spell out loud with me the word “silk.” S-I-L-K. Say silk three times.
Silk, silk, silk. What do cows drink?
Audience: Milk!
Marci Shimoff: Do cows drink milk? You have strange cows where you are. Cows drink water.
How many of you grew up on or near a farm? You are really embarrassed by that wrong answer.
So you get a second chance. Spell out loud with me the word “roast.” R-O-A-S-T. Say
roast three times. Roast, roast, roast. What do you put in the toaster?
Audience: Bread!
Marci Shimoff: I got some of you twice. You put bread in the toaster. Okay, that's how
habituated our thoughts are. Now, here’s the most important part of the research. For
the average person, what percentage of those thoughts is negative? Eighty percent.
What happy people have learned, what my happy hundred, I call them, have learned, is that
just because you have a thought doesn’t mean that it’s true. It was just an old
repetitive neural pathway that was formed in your brain long ago, and it’s time to
start creating new neural pathways in the brain. And that's the difference.
Happy people have said, “Okay, that's just a thought,” and they’ve released, found
ways, and I’ll tell you some tools that I recommend using to release those thoughts.
How many of you are familiar with muscle testing? Let me just see a show of hands. Okay, we’re
not gonna do that. Harv told me that.
How many of you are familiar with this exercise? Raise your hands if you’ve seen the exercise
of having your hand grow. Hand grow? Well, that's only about a third of the room, so
you know what? We’re gonna do it again. I want you to see how powerful your thoughts
are. I know some of you have seen this. I’d like you to find a partner. The person sitting
next to you is a perfect partner.
Here’s what I’d like you to do. Fold your hands right here like this, just like I’m
doing, where the two creases at the very bottom are matching up. And then, fold your hands
together like that. Now, inevitably, one hand is longer than the other hand, and I want
you and your partner to look at each other’s hands, and together I want you to observe
and determine which fingers are longer, okay?
Yeah? You got it? Okay, now take your hands apart. Has everyone identified which ones
are longer? Good. Take your hands apart now. Take the hand that had the shorter fingers
on it, okay? Hold it up here. That's your shorter-finger hand. Put it out in front of
you. You’re going to talk to that hand.
I want you to say, “Grow. Grow. Grow.” And now, just feel it growing, see it growing,
picture it growing, put your attention on it growing. “Grow. Grow. Grow.” Okay.
Now, some of you are actually feeling a tingling in your hands and an energy in your hands.
We are so powerful. Now, put your hands back the way they were and put them together here,
and take a look. And take a look at your partner’s hands. Take a look at your partner’s hands.
Is that amazing? Someone up here just had a brilliant thought. She said, “Does that
mean if I look at myself in the mirror every day and say ‘grow’ that I’ll grow?”
I don’t know. I haven’t tried it. Obviously, I haven’t tried that. It could work. That's
how powerful our thoughts are. So if 80% of our thoughts in a given day are negative,
there are things like—by the way, the most happiness-robbing thought we have is, “I’m
not good enough.” “I’m not good enough.”
Did any of you see me on The Today Show or on The Donny Deutsch Show? I did the muscle
testing demonstration with Meredith Vieira on The Today Show, having her say, “I’m
not good enough,” and her arm went down really easily, and then I had her say, “I
am good enough,” and her arm stayed strong and she really loved it. And then I did it
on Donny Deutsch and he was great, too, and millions of people in America now know about
the muscle test.
So, our thoughts are so amazingly powerful. I want to share with you a story about somebody
who has definitely used the power of his thoughts and of his mind to not believe everything
he thought or that society would have him think. It’s a story about a man named Roger
I’m going to show you a picture of Roger. Now, I want you to tell me what’s different
about Roger than about you and me. His hands. Roger was born without any palms. He has just
one thumb coming out of one arm and a thumb and a forefinger coming out of the other arm.
Now, what you can’t see in this picture is that Roger was also born with a badly crippled
left leg.
His leg had to be amputated from the knee down when he was just 5 years old. So he grew
up on an artificial leg. Now these aren’t great circumstances, but Roger was actually
fortunate, and he was fortunate because he had parents who taught him that it wasn’t
his circumstances in life that would affect his happiness, but rather it was his thoughts
and attitudes about himself.
So in the eighth grade, Roger’s mother noticed that all of Roger’s pant pockets were worn
out. Why were his pant pockets worn out? Hiding his hands. So what did his mother do? Sewed
them shut. She said, “Honey, God gave you these hands. I want you to be proud of who
you are, and I want you to show yourself to the whole world.”
Well, armed with that attitude, in the ninth grade, Roger decided to try out for the football
team. Miraculously, he made the football team. But he wasn’t called into every game, so
he set what he thought was a realistic goal for himself, which was to get one touchdown
during one game of the season. The final game of the season came and he hadn’t gotten
his touchdown yet, so he went into that game with full focus and attention. “This is
the game I’m gonna get it.”
Halfway through the game, the quarterback sent the football flying in Roger’s direction
accidentally. But Roger seized the opportunity, ran as fast as he could after that ball, he
didn’t have heels on like I do, caught the ball, and continued running so fast that he
made it to his nine-yard line before one of his opponents caught up with him.
Unfortunately, at the nine-yard line, his opponent caught up with him by doing what’s
called a shoestring tackle, which is when your opponent dives and grabs you by the ankle,
in this case his left ankle, the ankle of his artificial leg. Now, this is how Roger
tells the story. He says, “I pulled, he pulled, I pulled, he pulled, I pulled, he
pulled, I won. There he stood with my leg in his hand.”
He said, “But there I stood with the football still in my arms on one leg. Now, what did
I have to do to get a touchdown? Hop my way across the other nine yards! That's what I
did. The referee went like that! Touchdown! And I got that touchdown I so yearned for.”
You can.
He said, “But better than those six points was turning around and looking at the guy’s
expression,” who was standing in the middle of the field holding his leg. That was Roger
Crawford then. Let me show you a picture of Roger Crawford—that was him then—let me
show you a picture of him today.
He’s the first physically-challenged person to have made the U.S. Tennis Professional
Team. He is a touring tennis pro, and there he is holding his racket like that, and there
he’s on his artificial leg. Now, I don’t know who we have here in this room, but I’ll
guarantee you one thing. Roger Crawford could beat any one of us in this room at tennis.
And I just wanna recite to you the last paragraph of his story as he tells it.
He says, “The only difference between you and me is that you can see my handicap, but
I can’t see yours. We all have them.” He says, “When people ask me how I’ve
been able to overcome my handicap, I tell them that I haven’t overcome anything. I’ve
simply learned the things in life that I can’t do, things like play the piano or eat food
with chopsticks.” He says, “But more important, I focus on what I can do, and I do that with
all my heart and
all my soul.”
We are not here on this planet to get by. We are not here to just survive. We are here
to thrive. That is why we were put on the planet. Regardless of our circumstances. And
I know we all have challenges. Some of us just have our challenges or lessons in certain
areas like relationships or money or health. Some people have more visible challenges.
Here’s an example of a visible challenge. It says, “Bummer of a birthmark, Hal.”
Now, here’s what I found when I interviewed the top researchers on brain neurophysiology.
They say that we all have what’s called a negativity bias. It’s something that we
inherited from our ancestors in the caveman days. It was our survival mechanism that we
had these alarm systems that went off and really registered all of the negativity.
He used a phrase that I love. He said, “We have Velcro for negativity,” and I’m just
gonna show you up there. We have Velcro for negativity. So when negative things happen,
they stick to us. And we have Teflon for positivity. The positive things just slide off. So, for
example, you get 10 compliments in a day and one criticism. What do you remember? The criticism.
The criticism is what’s Velcro and the compliments are Teflon.
What I found is that people who are happy, deeply, lastingly happy, have reversed the
Velcro-Teflon percentage. They actually register, and this is one of the tools, the positive
very, very consciously. So if something really great happens, they actually celebrate it.
They take time and register it. They don’t just quickly move on to the next thing. If
they get a compliment, they don’t slough it off. They take it in. They say, “Yes.”
They actually register those things.
Now, I know you had a wonderful time this morning with my buddy Lisa Nichols, is that
right? So, did Lisa tell you the mirror exercise? You’re kidding. No? Yes? No. Harv, do you
do this later?
T Harv Eker: I do something like it. Yeah, we have a mirror.
Marci Shimoff: Okay, then I’ll let you do it.
T Harv Eker: Okay.
Marci Shimoff: But it’s one of the things that we talk about. What I found is, with
the 21 core happiness habits, that they fall into seven main areas of our life, and the
first area that they fall in, I might as well just give these to you right now, the first
area that they fall in is the area of—well, I should tell you, I made up an analogy for
building a home for happiness. You know, people don’t remember seven habits, but they will
remember an analogy or a metaphor.
So the analogy is building an inner home for happiness, and your home has seven key elements
to it. The first element is a foundation. The next four elements are your four corner
pillars. Then you have a roof, and then you have a garden.
So here’s the foundation for building your inner home for happiness. It’s taking responsibility
for your life and taking ownership of your happiness. Most people don’t even think
about getting happy. They just really are trying to get by, and most people think that
their happiness is dependent upon other people or other things. They are victims. That will
never work.
So, the first habit or the first step is building a strong foundation, is taking ownership of
your happiness. The second step is the pillar of the mind, and that's this one we just talked
about, which is, “Don’t believe everything you think.” The third step is the pillar
of the heart, which we’re gonna talk about in just a minute, but I’ll give it to you
now. It’s, “Let love lead in your life.”
The next pillar is the pillar of the body, and it’s “Make your cells happy,” the
cells in your body. Happiness is not just a mental thing. A lot of books out there talk
about happiness and it’s all about changing your mind. That is so much only part of the
picture. It’s also about changing your physiology.
And the researchers found that the happier we are, the more serotonin, endorphins, dopamine,
oxytocin we have, and I share with you ways that you can raise your serotonin, your oxytocin
and your chemicals through what you eat. I list happy foods. I talk about the way you
breathe, the way you exercise, the way you sleep.
The next pillar is the pillar of the soul, and it says, “Plug yourself into spirit.”
It’s very clear that people who are happier feel a deep connection to an energy or power
bigger than themselves. Whether it’s called God, nature, creative intelligence source
or unified field, I don’t care, but they feel deeply plugged in and connected.
Then, the roof of your house is to “Live an inspired life.” It’s finding your purpose
and passion and living an inspired life. And then, the garden of your house is your relationships.
Who are you hanging out with? Do you have weeds? Do you have toxic people or do you
have roses? Do you have people who are supporting your happiness?
Do you know that they found that we become the average of the five people that we associate
with the most? So think about your five people that you associate with most and see whether
they are supporting your happiness or not. I have to say this. You’ll all indulge me
in this, won’t you?
This is the first time that the person who most influences my happiness has been here
to actually see me speak in a big way, and that is my husband. He is so contagious. He
is the epitome of Happy for No Reason, and I’ll share how he is. Every morning—and
anybody who has visited our home knows this. If you’re a guest in our home, one of the
big treats of being a guest in our home is getting to listen to Sergio sing in the shower.
He has a fabulous voice. He has this great Italian voice, and he sings at the top of
his lungs in the shower. And my guests come and they stand outside the bathroom door,
and they yell in their requests, and he sings to them. So my husband, Sergio Baroni, is
here. Will you stand up, honey? Come here. Come here. Thank you, baby.
What? He has sung to some of you, I will tell you that, actually. Sergio is a success tracks
coach and I think he probably has—do you coach some of the people here in this room?
Okay. Anyway. So, he will sing. Here’s what happens to me often during the day. He sings
a lot throughout the day at home, and my office is in our house. So I’ll be on a business
call, and he’ll be just singing at the top of his lungs and my clients will be saying,
“What’s that in the background?” So it’s Sergio. So hang out with people who
support your happiness.
Now, I wanna go a little bit more into depth on three more of these. So my second happiness
habit that I wanna talk about with you today is the habit of—we’re not gonna do that,
because I’ve been told… Oh, here are a couple of cartoons about self-esteem. It says,
“Dear diary, sorry to bother you again.” It says, “I’ve tried letting my mind drift
off to my happy place but I can’t get cell phone reception there.”
So, the second happiness habit that I wanna talk with you about tonight is that happy
people let love lead in their lives. Right now I’d like you all to point to yourself,
if you would. Just put your pen down for a minute and point to yourself. Now, look around
the room. Notice, where are people pointing? Their heart. Is anybody here pointing to their
little toe? No. Why?
Spiritual traditions for time immemorial have known that the heart is the center of our
soul. It’s the essence of our being. And yet, we’re such a mind-dominated society.
What I found is that happy people live with an open heart. They let love flow. They feel
gratitude. They easily forgive.
There is some research done by—I’m sure some of you are familiar with a group called
the Institute of HeartMath. The Institute of HeartMath are the world’s leading researchers
on the heart, and they have found that the heart has an electromagnetic field around
it that is 5000 times more powerful than the electromagnetic field around the brain.
The electromagnetic field around the heart can be measured eight to 10 feet around us.
It’s not your aura. It’s actually an electromagnetic field, and people around us can feel it, can
pick up on it. They also found that when we’re feeling feelings of anger and frustration,
we have different heart-rhythm synchrony. Our heart rhythms go asymmetrically. When
we’re in a feeling of appreciation, our heart rhythms go in very wonderful rhythms.
I have a story in the book that I wanna share with you that really illustrates one of the
principles. It’s a habit that anybody in here can do. It’s called Wishing Others
Well. There's a woman named CJ, and she had been very, very depressed. She had lupus for
15 years. She had been in a wheelchair, she was very overweight, and she was basically
She heard about this very simple practice of wishing others well, and she decided to
try it. So every day, what she would do is send a silent wish in her heart for happiness
and health for everybody that she would think about or encounter, friends and family, strangers.
She’d do this for people she passed driving down the street.
She did this every day for a year, and this was the exact prayer she would wish for them.
She would say, “May you be safe, may you be happy, may you be healthy, and may you
live with ease.” One year after doing this, what happened to the people that she said
this wish to I can’t tell you, but I can tell you what happened to her.
Her happiness level soared. She is out of the wheelchair, she’s exercising three times
a week, she is completely and totally symptom-free, and the doctors say it is a medical miracle.
The only thing she did differently was to wish others well. This is something that any
of us can do. It is a simple thing, and I say try it for 30 days and see if it doesn’t
raise your own happiness level.
I’m gonna tell you another story, and this is actually a Chicken Soup for the Soul Story.
I think this is a very important story to be told. It can bring tears to people’s
eyes but it’s good tears. If I walk off the stage, are you guys able to find me? Okay,
good. Thank you.
It’s a story about a woman named Helice Bridges who lives in San Diego, who has designed
these blue ribbons that say “who you are makes a difference.” She has a goal to give
out 10 million of these ribbons. A high school teacher from New York heard about these ribbons
and ordered up a whole bunch of them for her high school class. One day, she stopped the
class from what it was doing and she invited each individual student to the front of the
room, and she told them one by one what she most appreciated about them. Then, she had
them sit down.
She said, “How did that feel?” They said, “That was great.” She said, “Good. We’re
not gonna stop this here. I want you to do an experiment. Take home with you three ribbons.
Pass one ribbon along to somebody who has made a difference in your life. Tell them
why they’ve made a difference, and then hand them the other two ribbons and ask them
to pass them along and report back in one week the results.”
Well, that afternoon, one of the kids went to his part-time job, and he walked up to
his boss and he said, “You know, I am just a punk teenage kid. Six months ago I didn’t
have a job. No one would hire me, but for some reason you believed enough in me to give
me a chance. Because of you, I’ve been able to make enough money to go to college in the
fall. Who you are has made a big difference in my life, and here’s a ribbon that says
so. And by the way, here’s another ribbon. Please pass it along.”
That afternoon, his boss walked into the company president’s office, walked up to the company
president and said, “You know, I have been working here for 10 years and I’ve never
told you that I think you are a creative genius. You inspire me every day with your creativity.
Who you are has made a big difference in my life, and here’s a ribbon that says so.
You’re welcome. Here’s another ribbon. Please pass it along.”
That evening, the company president was driving home, and he was thinking to himself, “Who
could I honor with this ribbon?” when he realized it had been a very long time since
he had said anything positive or uplifting to his 14-year-old son. So he called his son
into the living. He sat him down.
He said, “You know, son, most of the time I just yell at you for all the things that
you do wrong, but I realized tonight on my drive home that besides your mother, you are
the most important person in the entire world to me. You mean everything to me. You make
me laugh. You make me love. I don’t know what I would do without you.”
At that, his son burst into tears and ran out the door, causing his father to think
that he’d made a big mistake. The boy, however, five minutes later he walked back into the
room, and his father noticed that his tears were clear from his eyes. But his father also
noticed that his son was carrying something in his hand.
As the boy got closer to his father, the father could see that what his son was carrying in
his hand was a gun. The boy looked up at his father and said, “Dad, I was going to commit
suicide tomorrow because I didn’t think that you loved me. Now, I don’t have to.
Please take this from me.” That is a true story. It’s a true story about the effect
that one person has on another person’s life just by telling them that they make a
Now, I don’t know this for a fact, but I believe that we would have a lot more peace
on this planet of ours, it certainly needs more peace, if people on a more regular basis
were to tell the people around them that they appreciated them. So you all have a homework
assignment, and that is sometime between now and the time you go to bed tomorrow night,
I want you to tell somebody in your life why you appreciate them.
And don’t just tell them that you do. I want you to give them a reason. “I appreciate
you because you make me laugh. I appreciate you because you help me believe in my dreams.
I appreciate you because you’re a great listener and you really support me.” Give
them a reason.
Now, to give some you some practice in doing this and to give some of you some chance to
clear your tears from your eyes. I’m gonna have you do this right now with your partner.
This is the person you did this little experiment with. Now, some of you just met that person
about an hour or so ago. Some of you have known that person for a while. It doesn’t
matter. We’re very intuitive people.
I’d like you to tell them something you appreciate about them and make it deeper than
“I appreciate your eyelashes,” and I’m gonna give you 30 seconds to do this. The
person with the shorter hair of the two of you will go first. Go.
Okay, and finish up if you would. Good. How does that feel? Yeah? Alright. Great. Let
me get your attention. Now, that's a nice heart opener, but you know what? It worked
more for you than it even worked for the person that you appreciated. So spend time appreciating
people and things.
You know, when our hearts are open, there is a certain actual energy or sound that is
made in our hearts. I want you to put your hand on your heart right now and make the
sound “aaaah.” “Aaaah.” Can you feel that “aah” reverberating in your heart.
The other sound is “ha.” Go “haaaaa.” So, what’s the “ha” sound? It’s the
sound of laughter. “Ha, ha, ha, ha.”
So, I’m going to show you some pictures that are heart-opening pictures and I want
you to notice the sounds that people in the room make. Here we go. I’m going to skip
through that. There we go. Aaaah. Alright. Notice how it feels in your heart. Yeah? Good.
Alright. So the second habit was “let love lead.” The third habit. The third habit
has to do with the law of attraction. People are always asking me, “What’s the connection
between the law of attraction and happiness?” So, I have a little secret formula that I
use that I think is the happy for no reason version of the law of attraction. But first
let me share with you a quote from Rhonda Byrne about The Secret.
She says, “I wanna let you in on a secret to The Secret. The shortcut to anything you
want in your life is to be and feel happy now. It’s the fastest way to bring money
and anything else into your life. That's the real secret to the secret.” Now, in the
film they use three steps, Ask, Believe and Receive. Those are fine.
I happen to use my own three steps. I like them better, they rhyme, and I’ve used them
for about 20 years, and these are them. These are the three steps. They are Intention, Attention,
and No Tension. Now, here’s the trick. Intention, we all know what that's about. We’re clear
on our intentions. We know what we want. Second step, attention. You put your thoughts, your
words, your feelings, and your actions into it.
The third step is the step where I find people in our culture are really falling down in,
and that is no tension. Let go. Relax. Be happy for no reason and watch what shows up.
When you don’t need something, that's when it shows up in your life. I get so many letters
and emails and calls saying, “The law of attraction, The Secret’s not working for
me.” It’s not not working. You’re just not doing the real deal no tension.
Here’s a beautiful quote by Lao Tzu about no tension. He says, “By letting it go,
it all gets done. The world is won by those who let go. But when you try and try, the
world is beyond the winning. To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”
People are always asking me how I got to do the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, and I’m
gonna tell you the very quick version of this, and that is I was very clear on my intention.
When I was 13 years old, I saw my first professional speaker, a man named Zig Ziglar. I said, “That’s
what I’m gonna do when I grow up.” My parents weren’t happy about that. My dad
was a dentist. They wanted me to be a dental hygienist.
But my mom said, “Honey, you sure talk enough, you might as well get paid for it.” I put
all of my attention on this. I got an MBA in Training and Development. I taught Fortune
500 companies. I was teaching seminars to women on self-esteem. Jack Canfield was my
mentor. But I was hitting up against the wall. Have any of you hit up against a wall?
Hitting up against the wall, and I said, “I can’t go any further. I gotta take a break.”
So in January of 1994, I went on a seven-day silent meditation retreat. Now, I had not
been silent before that for more than 2 hours in my life, so it was a challenge. But on
the fourth day, in the middle of a meditation, a light bulb went off in my head and I saw
the words Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul.
Now, none of the specialty Chicken Soup books had been conceived of. Only the first book
was out. As soon as I got that vision, I knew that was it. I knew it was a gift. It really
felt like a gift from God, but I had only one problem. I had three more days of being
silent. I just had the great epiphany of my life, but three more days to be silent.
Soon as I was done with silence, I ran to the closest payphone, called up Jack, and
said, “I’ve got it. Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul.” He said, “Oh my God,
I can’t believe we hadn’t thought of that.” He called up the publisher. The publisher
said, “Oh my God, what a brilliant idea. Ninety percent of our readers are women.”
And within two weeks I had a contract, and within a year, I had a number one New York
Times bestselling book, and I guarantee it only happened because of three steps: Intention,
Attention and No Tension. If I hadn’t done that No Tension step, it wouldn’t have happened.
It wouldn’t have happened.
The other part of the law of attraction, of course, a big part is being able to picture
it, and I wanted you to tell me who it is that this is. Greg Louganis. In 1984, Greg
Louganis was supposed to win the gold medal here in the LA Olympics for diving, but he
did a bomb of a dive.
One of the reporters asked him, “Are you gonna go back to your room after this and
watch that dive on videotape?” He said, “No way. I’d be crazy. What I’m gonna
do is go back to my room and watch my best dives. I’m not gonna picture what I don’t
wanna have happen.” So you’ve gotta picture it, which is why these vision boards are so
In fact, if everybody would stand up for just a minute, I’m gonna walk you through a picturing
exercise, a visualization exercise. I’d like you to take your right hand, right arm,
point it straight ahead. Keep your feet firmly planted in the ground. In just a moment, I’m
gonna have you twist towards that arm but you’re gonna have to go up and around the
person around you. I wanna see how far you can twist without moving your feet.
So twist around as I’m doing. Don’t hit the person next to you. That wouldn’t be
very nice. Memorize the spot on the wall where your finger is landing. Yes? Come on back
to the front and put your arm down. Now, I’m gonna walk you through the same thing but
this time you’re not gonna move anything. It’s merely a guided visualization.
So without moving anything, close your eyes. Picture yourself this time twisting around
in the same direction, but see yourself easily and effortlessly twisting so that your finger
lands 6 to 8 inches farther along the wall. See yourself so your finger lands easily 6
to 8 inches farther along the wall, and open your eyes, point your finger straight ahead,
twist around in that same direction, and see where your finger lands.
Raise your hand if that worked for you. Alright. Have a seat. Have a seat. That's why vision
boards work so well. We’ve gotta picture things happening. I just wanna share with
you what’s been sitting on my vision board since 2004. This is what it says on my vision
board, a card on my vision board. It says, “Happy for No Reason is being published
by my favorite New York publisher. It comes out January of 2008. I receive an advance
of x number of dollars. It becomes the number one New York Times bestselling book immediately
and inspires and transforms millions of lives, serving the highest good of everyone.”
I have to tell you. I love my publisher. It’s I think the best publisher in New York. It
came out in January of 2008. I got the advance to the penny that I said on that board. It
became a number two New York Times bestselling book immediately, and we have next week to
go to number one, and hopefully it is inspiring and transforming millions of lives for the
highest good around the world, so put your picture on it. Picture it.
Now, I have just a few more minutes. I’m gonna get through these last two points very
quickly, but I wanna share them with you because they’re important. The next point is to
live an inspired life. My father as I told you was my happy for no reason role model.
My father loved what he did. No matter what he was doing, he brought inspiration to it.
I’m just gonna tell you a quick story about him. When he was 72, he retired from dentistry,
and what happens when people retire is they die. They die because they lose their purpose.
My dad said, “That's not gonna happen to me.” So he decided to analyze what he loved
about dentistry so much, and he realized that it was working with his hands in intricate
ways and being artistic. So at age 72, he took up needlepoint.
He became a master needlepointer. He has won awards throughout all of California. When
he was 85, I went home to visit my parents, and he was working on his newest needlepoint.
It was that wide and that high, and it was a needlepoint of the tree of life, and it
was very intricate. And I said to him, “Dad, how long is that gonna take you to finish?”
He looked at me and he said, “Honey, I worked that out. I figured that at the pace that
I’m currently going, it’s only gonna take me four years to complete.” Here is an 85-year-old
man beginning a four-year project. Did he finish it? Absolutely. It hangs very proudly
in my parents’ living room. He brings his inspiration with him. And so it’s very,
very important to live an inspired, inspired life.
And here’s the way you know when you’re inspired. There are two energies in the universe.
One is expansion, one is contraction. The energy of expansion is the energy of our soul.
The energy of contraction is the energy of our ego. Follow the energy of expansion, which
is the energy of your soul.
Let me show you what that feels like. I’d like you all right now to curl up in a little
ball. Get really, really tiny, curled up, contracted in a little ball. On the count
of three, I want you to say, “I feel happy.” Ready? One, two, three. I feel happy. Okay?
Sit up. Did you feel happy?
Audience: No!
Marci Shimoff: No. When you’re contracted, it’s hard to feel happy. When you’re expanded,
it’s hard not to feel happy. So what I want you to do is go like this. On the count of
three, I want you to say, don’t do it yet, on the count of three I want you to say, “I
feel depressed.” Right? Ready? One, two, three. I feel depressed. Did you feel depressed?
Audience: No!
Marci Shimoff: You can’t feel depressed like that. Now, do this. On the count of three,
say, “I feel happy.” One, two three. I feel happy. It’s hard not to feel happy
when you’re expanded. So people who are happy for no reason move in a direction of
expansion and not contraction. That's our guiding system.
And I’m gonna leave you with the last happiness habit that I just—you know, of the 21, this
one I really love to share with a group because it’s so much fun, and that is, happy people
keep their sense of humor. Humor creates endorphins. We all have heard about that. Do you know,
on average, children laugh 425 times a day, on average adults in our society laugh 15
times a day?
I wanna show you how you feel after one minute of laughter. You know, I know that Harv loves
to be experiential, so we’re gonna be experiential. I’m gonna give you one solid minute of laughter,
and I want you to notice how you feel in your body. These are bloopers that I’m gonna
share with you from excuses that parents wrote for their kids. And just notice how you feel
in your body after one minute of laughing.
First one reads, “Dear School, please accuse Johnny of being absent on January 28, 29,
30, 31, 32, and also 33.” “Please excuse Sarah for being absent. She was sick and I
had her shot.” “My son is under the doctor’s care and should not take fisical ed. Please
execute him.” “My daughter was absent Monday because she was tired. She spent the
weekend with the Marines.” Boy, did they tire her out.
“Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing
part.” “Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.” And finally,
“Maryann was absent yesterday because she had a fever, sore throat, headache, and upset
stomach. Her brother and I were also sick with a fever and sore throat. There must be
the flu going around; her father even got hot last night.”
Notice how good you feel right now. Now, do you know that you don’t have to laugh to
create endorphins? You can just smile and you’ll create endorphins? I wanna prove
this to you. I want you all to smile at me a big smile, look stupid, like this. Big,
big smile. Turn to your partner with that big smile in your face. Look them in the eye
and say, “I hate your guts.”
Audience: I hate your guts.
Marci Shimoff: Now, why does that feel funny? The reason that feels funny is that the minute
we’re smiling, we’re sending a message to our brain telling us that we’re in a
good mood. The next time you find yourself in a bad mood, just sit like this all day
long and two things will happen. Number one, you’ll feel better. Number two, no one will
bother you.
I have to end the night with the last story about my father. On his 91st birthday, we
were all having dinner with him, and he had a little dementia, but he was taking each
of me and my brother and sister up to that needlepoint of the tree of life one by one
and pointing to it to us and trying to communicate something. I didn’t know what he was trying
to communicate. It turns out that was his last dinner but we didn’t know it. Seven
days later he passed away.
I realized then that what my father was trying to communicate in that last gesture of his
was that he was saying, “I’ve lived a happy life. Now, the tree of life symbolizes
passing on to another generation. I’m passing the baton onto you. May you have a happy life
and may you share this with the world.”
And the reason that I am so passionate about having people in the world be happy is because
this is the way we’re gonna raise the consciousness on the planet, and we in this room are the
ones. We are it. And I’m gonna leave you tonight with a Chinese proverb that sums up
my philosophy, and then immediately after that, some church bulletin bloopers because
I want you ending laughing. I think Harv will appreciate that.
But first the Chinese proverb. It goes like this, “If there is light in the soul, there
will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony
in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. And if
there is order in the nation, there will be peace in this world.”
My prayer and my wish for each one of us is that we feel the light, the joy, the love,
the happy for no reason in our own lives, and through that, that we create a world of
peace and love and happiness and joy, and that in doing so, we laugh along the way.
So I leave you with my closing humor from church bulletin bloopers. It goes like this.
“This afternoon there will be a meeting in the South and North ends of the church.
Children will be baptized at both ends.” “Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. there will be an Ice
Cream Social. All ladies giving milk, please come early.”
“Wednesday, the Ladies Literary Society will meet. Mrs. Johnson will sing Put Me In
My Little Bed accompanied by the pastor.” “Thursday at 5:00 p.m. there will be a meeting
of the Little Mothers Club. All wishing to become little mothers will please meet with
the minister in his study.” I’m afraid there's a lot of that going around these days.
“The ladies of the church have cast off clothing of every kind, and they can be seen
in the church basement on Friday afternoon,” and what a sight they are. “This being Easter
Sunday, we will ask Mrs. Brown to come forward and lay an egg on the altar.” And finally,
“The service will close with Little Drops of Water; one of the men will start quietly
and the rest of the congregation will join in.”
May we all live with love and laughter and joy in our hearts and souls.
T Harv Eker: Let's hear it guys.
Marci Shimoff: Thank you. Thank you.
T Harv Eker: Marci Shimoff, guys. Thank you, great job. How was that? How was that?