Is there a secret to happiness? Is it up to us to find it on our own, or with others? How can happiness be made a way of life?
All fair questions, to which all require answers. But most importantly they all require someone to listen. Happiness is an emotion constructed in the brain, and preserved by people and personal acts of well-being. It’s the feeling we all want for the majority of our time here. I’m not one to say that it’s EVERYTHING, but it’s certainly important.
My name is Alan Pean. I’m an academic with a formal education in biology, philosophy, and literature. I also have a personal, less formal, interest in astrophysics. I come from a family of medical doctors, as well as accomplished members of other science based endeavors (my father, my brothers, my uncles, most of my cousins… I was seemingly destined to learn this stuff). I was Pre-med in college, and have always had a passion for learning. I recently visited Haiti with an organization affiliated with the prestigious Mount Sinai Medical School known as “Med Students for Haiti,” or “MS4H” for short. I am currently working on a nation wide project to advocate for better patient care. This seems like a good point to stop patting myself on the back.
How do I know Betsy? I’ve known Betsy nearly my entire life (truth be told, we probably started going to school together around pre-school), so if there’s anyone that can vouch for her creative, ambitious, kindhearted (I could keep going) ways I’d be one of the first ones to raise their hand.
When I use the word “science” I, like many, use it to describe a mode of interpreting the world. In the sense that whatever observation pertaining to any subject (it could be applied to let’s say… the best way to experience happiness, which is an emotion created by the brain first), the conclusion is one based on evidence. To be objective is a skill attainable by all, but not possessed by many. It rides right along next to critical thinking. Very important skills to have in the Internet age where people try to sell you things like… “six minute abs.” You’ll need more than six minutes a day, trust me.
This is where the importance of listening comes into play. The only reason I am versed in these disciplines is because I have always chosen to listen first. This does not mean stop thinking, but it does mean take a few beats out of the spotlight, because it goes without saying there is no such thing as a “know-it-all.” Especially without access to Google. With that said, no great person has ever been called great by shutting their ears, and much less by stamping their feet on the ground. It’s a skill to be able to say “I don’t know” or “I’m wrong.” It’s the first step to listening, to learning, AND most importantly to living with any semblance of happiness. Our hunter gatherer ancestors didn’t survive by indulging in the same tainted herbs as those before them. If that were the case, we wouldn’t be here.
So with that said, I have committed myself to helping those interested enough in wellness to read my blogs. I invite you to take these approaches, and to use science to conclude at the end of the day if you found it a bit easier to breath. Especially after a long days work. I’ll incorporate my knowledge, my experiences, as well my candid responses to all of you who might have questions or input. If you wish to attain progress in not just ways to be happy, but ways to live a more well-rounded life. Drop by and read what I have to say! It’ll be based on science! All backed up by our favorite tool, the Internet. BUT it will require a bit of listening, as well as a willingness to learn. So I’ll leave you with a bit of my philosophy… listen to learn FRIST, so that then you can live.
For next time, I'll share my story about how I got shot in the chest and SURVIVED! A testament to will power, and how it all starts with you. Thanks for reading!