Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Ellen, Jan 25, 2015.
This has good information in a fun format:
This is so good! Thanks for sharing it.
Thanks Ellen. Enjoyed that very much.
'The pursuit of gratitude & compassion will make u happier than the pursuit of happiness'.
That last line sums it up perfectly.
Thank you for this clip Ellen. I can identify with feeling others pain as your own. That happened over the weekend, and despite practising gratitude, I suffered. I guess I have more work to do in reinforcing the happy neural pathways.
Thanks for posting this. I checked out stressfree.org and was impressed by Dr. Sood's credentials. Here is what he writes in his bio:
I am a proud Dad of two little princesses and happily married to Richa, my lovely wife of over 20 years. I am a Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN. I also serve as Chair of Mayo Mind Body Initiative, Director of research and practice at Mayo Clinic Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, Chair of Mayo Medical Student Life and Wellness Committee, and Associate Director of General Internal Medicine Research Fellowship.
Read the rest here.
His website, stressfree.org looks good. Despite the domain name ending in .org, it's not actually a nonprofit because it doesn't have 501c3 certification. From a legal perspective, Dr. Sood can probably pull as much money out of it as he wants. Despite the ".org" suffix, it is likely an effort to cash in on the huge trend of amazing research that has come out in positive psychology and neuroscience in the last 20 years. (In contrast, the TMS Wiki is an actual 501c3.) Domain names that end in .org are completely unregulated and I consider it a little dishonest to set up a .org domain name without making any real legal commitments to operate in the public interest. On the other hand, there has been some tremendous research in the last 20 years, and if he makes it easier to find that information, I suppose that that is a good thing.
Thanks again for sharing the video. Despite my caveats, I encourage anyone to visit his website at:
It looks like it has only been live for a week or so, and perhaps we will see great things from them in the future.
Here's some info about Dr. Sood from the Mayo Clinic:
Thanks for the information, Forest. There is already a stressfree.com, so that may be why he went with stressfree.org. His site does say that they plan to donate 50% of the profits.
That's true, and I bet you are right about the domain name.
In terms of the donations, the language on his philanthropy page is very vague. On it, he writes, "Our plan this year is to gift 50% of the profits from the online course and some of the other offerings to worthy efforts." He also notes some categories of charities that he has donated to in the past without giving specific amounts. In response to this, I would note that use of the term "plan" pretty much exempts him from any legal responsibility, as he can always say that his plans changed and he never thought to announce it. Likewise, his claim is only in reference to this year, but programs like that tend to not be profitable early on because they involve a very heavy investment up front (as opposed to very low costs later on) and it takes them a long time to establish themselves. In fact, one might expect to have a loss in the first year, which would imply no donation at all. Likewise, once the company becomes very profitable, he could simply remove that page entirely.
The .org designation was originally created for true nonprofits, but as I said, it's entirely unregulated now:
Every year I have to certify to the IRS that our nonprofit is a true nonprofit and that we use our funds in furtherance of our nonprofit mission. I think that it is great that I have a way of documenting my commitment to run this organization in a nonprofit manner for as long as it exists. As an economist, I tend to be very skeptical of claims of charity that don't have some sort of legal grounding like this. One doesn't mess with the IRS after all.
And I should say that I bet he's a nice guy and that he has made donations and plans to continue doing so. It probably conveys some significant tax benefit to him as a Mayo Clinic Doctor and he probably has significant charitable intentions. It's just that if one wants to be considered a real ".org" (as opposed to a ".com" in ".org" clothing), there really is no substitute for being a 501(c)3.
With that being said, while I'll never pass up the opportunity to talk about the importance of real 501(c)3 nonprofits, I'll let you respond if you like and then it is probably best to get this thread back on topic.
And thanks again for sharing a great video. Because it is so good, I don't want to be the one to take the thread off topic.
Speaking of happiness psychology and positive psychology (the subjects of the video), we have a great thread, started by @Gigalos, that helps us apply some of the secrets of positive psychology. It helps us build the neural pathways of gratitude and joy by giving us a way to focus on the positive things in our life. It's called, Ah, is this not happiness...
Better yet, it's an outlet for doing such things with other people, and connections with others are another thing that positive psychology and happiness psychology have found to be very good for us.
(It's a bit of a long thread, but after reading the first post and maybe this one, you can just skip to the end.)
With that said, for anyone who loves the video above, I can highly recommend the book, "Buddha's Brain," by Rick Hanson. It's a nice blend of neuroscience and positive psychology that recognizes the commonality between modern scientific ideas and far older ideas from ancient eastern thinkers. Like stressfree.org, it is also written by someone with very impressive credentials who popularizes current science in a way that respects the underlying science.
I like this one that Dr. Sood produced, because he gives us some more specifics: Try to find others novel, find novelty in others, develop a lower threshold for this. Increase kindness to yourself and others. "see our intentions, rather than our results" is a nice suggestion to make for ourselves... None of these sound easy for a greedy, fearful mind , but at least here are some more specifics.
That's a really good video from Dr. Sood.
I'm currently practicing being kind to a friend going through a divorce.
Being supportive and mainly being a wall against which he hits his tennis ball.
Often it's better and kinder to be a good listener than a talker or give an opinion.
Being there for my friend makes me feel good.
I believe I've helped save a few marriages, by encouraging the husband to give it another chance,
but in this case it looks like that's already been tried many times over 25 years.
Separate names with a comma.