The 5 Thieves of Happiness by Dr. John Izzo
Dr. John Izzo is a master storyteller, weaving a tapestry of personal life lessons learned from sitting around the fire chatting with elders of Hazda tribe of Tanzania to large social movements of environmentalism and fight for equal rights that has defined the 60’s and 70’s.
Drawing both on the spiritual traditions of East and West as well as research in psychology, the book explores the five thieves: Control, Conceit, Coveting, Consumption and Comfort. He shows how each of these mindsets destroys both personal happiness and societal good.
There is a really cool short quiz you could take on Dr. John Izzo's website to find out which thief is stealing your happiness: http://drjohnizzo.com/five-thieves-happiness-quiz/
Control- The desire for control is the source of most unhappiness. Accepting what is, at any moment, is the key to happiness. Izzo shows the powerful difference between intention and attachment so that we can focus on what we want to achieve while not becoming attached to outcomes. He goes on to show that the desire to control the beliefs of others and to prove we are right is creating a world in which civility and honest disagreement have been replaced by division and lack of collaboration. Drawing on as varied sources as cognitive dissonance theory, the creation story of Adam and Eve, and the path of the Buddha, the book shows a path to taming this thief in our lives and communities.
Conceit. Seeing ourselves as the center of things, narcissistic ego, is both the root of personal unhappiness and major issues for the human species. By seeing ourselves as the center of things, we focus on distinguishing ourselves as opposed to seeking the greater good. Rather than finding meaning in service, we attempt to try to find meaning in seeking ego gratification. At the societal level our focus on our species as the center of life and our “tribe” (also nation, religion, or race) as the focus for progress has left us with a decimated environment and a constant world of we vs. they. Once again, Izzo draws on broad material including anthropological evidence showing how humans were naturally compassionate cooperators which is what allowed us to come to dominate the Earth. Conceit will ultimately do us in personally and corporately.
Coveting. Coveting is the desire for that which we do not have especially in the form of envy towards others. Izzo shows powerful research on why gratitude and serving others is a prime course of happiness while demonstrating the role coveting plays in societal ills as broad as bullying and genocide. Drawing on material as broad as the Ten Commandments to the emerging field of positive psychology, Izzo paints a rich portrait of why coveting must be tamed for humanity to thrive.
Consumption. This is the belief that happiness comes from sources outside of ourselves rather than an internal personal choice. Most modern societies define success in material accumulation, but John points out that we must work long and hard in exchange for the big house, fancy car, and luxury items that solicit envy in those around us. Humanity cannot advance with a definition of the “good life” rooted in constant growth of possessions. The real point is that only the cultivation of a rich inner life can bring happiness to us individually and only a radical redefinition of the “good life” for society can ensure a positive human future.
Comfort. The last and final thieve of happiness is comfort, which on the surface could look like a short path to happiness. John caution readers against the status quo, and promotes growth by being open to change by having new experiences, meet new people and develop new skills so our soul will not wither away under routine. Izzo shows that habit is a powerful human trait and that just as we get into comfortable patterns in our life that once served us personally so humanity is working off a habitual software. From our belief that our main challenge is to subdue nature to the belief that military might makes us safe, Izzo shows how many of the failed approaches to the great issues of our age like climate change and terrorism can be linked to the thief of comfort. He encourages all not to feel shame and guilt of your current life patterns, simply observe them, and make a change.
The Five Thieves of Happiness will help us all discover, examine, and reflect on the idea that happiness is our true nature and harmony the natural human order. By taming these five thieves we can both find personal happiness and a positive future. I believe your audience could benefit from his expertise. This book is available Jan 2, 2017. BUY IT
Hawaiian Yoga Retreat
see all pictures HERE
What could I say about the best vacation ever?? The amazing fertile soil and climate in which Hawaii is in, where rain pours down as if the sky cracked open but only for 10-30 minutes at a time, while the sun is still shining creating rainbows and double rainbows! Our retreat was in the mountains where wild chicken run around, and so did wild boar. I was with 30 other amazing human beings from around the world where we treated each other like family, offering song, poetry, guitar playing, cooking, driving, flower arranging, service as natural as saying hello. Everyday we were treated to three vegetarian buffets made from local organic food, and had live kirtan concerts led by Gina Sala, accompanied by Daniel Paul, both world class musicians that transported us into transcendental bliss. We deepened our yoga philosophy, had many thought-provoking discussions during Q & A and celebrated my guru Jeffrey Armstrong's 70th Birthday in an outdoor Luau with Indian food. Everyday, we had 5 hours of free time so I became the director of FUN, and led people on hiking adventures, surfing, snorkeling, and dinners by Turtle Bay while watching a big surfing competition! YES, plenty of guys with long hair and six packs walking around. I was thrilled to cross off surfing from my bucket list, and gained a much deeper admiration for surfers for their endurance and swimming ability. We had a very capable young man in his early 20's with piercing green eyes as our surfing instructor, and taught all four of us to stand up on our big foam board! Money well spent, I'd say. ^_^ I didn't realize how stressed I had become until I got to Hawaii, and the vacation completely rejuvenated me and gave me the fire I needed for what's coming in 2017. If you're interested, check out www.jeffreyarmstrong.com for we're going to Mexico for the 2017 winter retreat!
I've been so grateful to realize that I've come to a point of maturity to not get upset about the things that is out of my control and stay grateful for all the positive things in my life. I'm so thankful for the amazing people who are my clients, which all of them are my friends, so I love them dearly! I can't emphasize how glad I am that they accept my straight forwardness and appreciate the overwhelming amount of marketing ideas I share with them, and trust my ability to craft their brand and represent them in social media, and media. I have a feeling 2017 is going to be a great year for everyone, so here is wishing you good health, new adventures, and love in your life.