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Joy on Demand

The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within

By Chade-Meng Tan
13-minute read
Audio available
Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within by Chade-Meng Tan

Joy on Demand (2016) is a guide to finding inner peace, calm and joy through the ancient practice of meditation. These blinks walk you through a simple, entry-level program that will transform moments of misery into windows of hope, eventually guiding you to true, sustained happiness.

  • Depressed and anxious people everywhere
  • Workaholics, worriers and anyone who is unhappy
  • Aspiring spiritual souls

Chade-Meng Tan began his career as an engineer before gradually discovering his spiritual side. As a best-selling author and the creator of a number of wildly popular mindfulness courses, he now shares his insights about joy with people around the world.

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Joy on Demand

The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within

By Chade-Meng Tan
  • Read in 13 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 8 key ideas
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Joy on Demand: The Art of Discovering the Happiness Within by Chade-Meng Tan
Synopsis

Joy on Demand (2016) is a guide to finding inner peace, calm and joy through the ancient practice of meditation. These blinks walk you through a simple, entry-level program that will transform moments of misery into windows of hope, eventually guiding you to true, sustained happiness.

Key idea 1 of 8

A person’s level of happiness tends to remain static unless improved through regular meditation practice.

There was once a Chinese man who visited a palm reader. After examining the man’s hands, the palm reader told him he was miserable and would remain that way until he turned forty. The man was thrilled by this information, assuming that he simply had to hold out till he turned forty, at which point he would finally be happy. However, he had misunderstood; the palm reader clarified that, at forty, the man would finally become accustomed to his misery.

For the man in the example, and most people worldwide, happiness remains stable over their lifetimes. Studies have even shown that humans are highly adaptable to both negative and positive life circumstances; we return to our base level of happiness, or unhappiness, with relative ease.

Just take a 1978 study by the psychologist Philip Brickman, which found that neither winning the lottery nor being paralyzed in an accident had a long-term impact on a person’s happiness level. Following the initial elation or shock, a person will adapt to the momentous change, going back to feeling the way he did before the event.

Or consider a 1996 study of twins done by the psychologist David Lykken, which concluded that at least 50 percent of the human ability to remain happy depends on genetics. Surprisingly enough, external factors like money and education only account for about 3 percent of this ability.

The implication here is that, if a person is born unhappy, she simply has to suck it up. But, actually, there is something you can do about it; mental strengths, like joy and resilience, can be increased through practice.

In fact, just as working out can strengthen one’s muscles, mental exercises can increase one’s happiness. The author made this incredible discovery when he began meditating. He soon found that this practice is for the mind what doing sit-ups or running laps are for the body.

How come?

Well, when the mind is strengthened, it becomes more capable of achieving certain results – say, the experience of joy.

But this requires regular meditation, which can be difficult to commit to. But in the following blinks, you’ll learn why it’s worth it and what you stand to gain from establishing a practice of your own.

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