The Key Ingredient For A Successful Life Isn’t Wealth - It’s Happiness

Silvia Damiano
2 min read

Everyone focuses on money. Making more money. And people who work like this, inevitably burn out. They become unhappy and disillusioned with life. It doesn’t have to be that way. Money and wealth are NOT the secrets to a successful life.

High Performance And Happiness

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Harald Harung, Associate Professor at Oslo and Akershus University College in Norway for my 2018 documentary Make Me A Leader.

His research, in collaboration with Dr. Fred Travis from Maharishi University, has led to some profound and groundbreaking realisations. Dr. Harung’s message is loud and clear, and may not be surprising in the fact that; the basis of a successful life is not money or prestige, it is happiness. 

What is profound is the realisation that the active ingredient in happiness and performance is the holistic measure of higher mind-brain development. Dr Harung’s research focused on mind-brain development, shows that developing your mind and your brain will transform the way you perceive yourself, others around you, and your environment. 

Having a high brain integration results in greater moral reasoning and creativity, higher emotional stability, more openness to experience, and lower levels of anxiety.

He also shared with me that the benefit of an integrated brain goes beyond the benefit for the individual. By leaders raising their consciousness, they also elevate the consciousness of the organisation. 

“The world is rapidly moving toward a real-time reality where responses are instantaneous or at least almost instantaneous. With this accelerating transformation to higher levels of competency and speed, higher mind-brain development is becoming increasingly essential for high performance and happiness. In other words, we, as humans, are creating an advanced society that requires us to substantially refine our brain and mind.”

Dr. Harald Harung

3 Ways To Enhance Mind-Brain Development 

According to Dr. Harung, the 3 key ways to increase mind-brain development include: 

  • Physical Exercise
  • Music / visual arts
  • Meditation

Being physically active is crucial for our mental and physical health. Music, dancing, painting or other forms of artistic expression stimulate our mind and our creativity. Music, especially if we play it, can increase our learning ability.

The practice of meditation, especially transcendental meditation, provides multiple benefits including: increased consciousness, reduced anxiety and stress, increased ability to learn and remember and faster information processing, all of which allow us to enjoy a richer life, with better performance and greater happiness. 

Research and technology will continue to march on, and our understanding of the mind and brain will only increase. Humans have tremendous potential, and Dr. Harung predicts that instead of money being the primary focus for organisations, it will soon be people. Companies that keep the mindsets of the past and focus only on money will eventually die off. 

In Dr. Harung’s opinion, the future of leadership development is a basic shift from having and doing - to being. We have to learn to develop who we are. 

Originally posted on: 15 August 2017
Last updated on: 12 April 2024
Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.

Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.

Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership

In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.

Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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