EPISODE 76 — Dr. James Doty — Hacking Happiness: Shifting From “Me” to “We”
At age 13, Dr. James Doty met a woman in a magic shop who would change the course of his life — helping him embrace altruism and shift his perspective from “me” to “we.” He’s now a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.
In this lively conversation, Dr. Doty covers:
- Why your past doesn’t define your future
- Why the most successful individuals focus on being of service to others
- How to shift from being a victim to being in control of your destiny
- And MORE
11:30 – Take a breath. “When you take a little bit of time — between 4 and 6 seconds — versus your instantaneous response when you are afraid, that changes everything. It gives you access to much more information and allows you to make a more thoughtful, discerning choice.”
15:20 – Developing a holistic understanding. “Many of our interactions with people aren’t about this event. They’re about what recently happened to them and they have not resolved it. That is the driver of their behaviors.”
16:39 – Changing your scheduled programming. “Oftentimes events are simply events. They don’t have a valence of positive, negative, good, or bad. They’re simply events. How that event affects us is our choice — for many people, that’s a revelation because these things happen automatically. We don’t process the reality that how we react is our choice.”
17:57 – We’re not as advanced as we like to believe. “As part of our evolution, negative things stick to us because it’s the negative things that put us at risk. Positive stuff isn’t going to endanger our life. Negative stuff can, and as a result, it’s much more sticky. Unfortunately, as part of that fact, negative commentary often gets embedded in our psyche as truth.”
30:33 – Don’t be an a**. “When you switch from ‘me, me, me’ to ‘we, we, we’ you win. The way you win is because you have a calmness about you. People want to be around you. The way you win is because you were being of service to others.”
37:34 – Growing your social capital. “When you orient your life towards one of service, of caring for others, the return you get is a different type of admiration from people, which fills that void within you and is actually sustenance. That food is what allows you to truly grow, to thrive, and understand the difference between me and my needs versus the perception that we’re in this together, the other is me, and therefore my obligation is to be of service to the other. When you’re in service to the other, that’s when you’re in service to yourself.”
42:36 – The misconception of altruism. “When you actually are of service, when you engage in an activity yourself that is of benefit or actually give something away that has a significant impact on people — not due to a tax strategy, not to get self accolades, but to actually authentically do it — that is what will make you happy.”
1:00:40 – Not for the sake of wealth. “It’s not about making the money. It’s about how you make the money or what you do with the money. Beyond a certain level of wealth, what’s the purpose? Unless you’re of service to others.”
1:06:40 – What does it mean to be a game changer? “Being of service to others.”
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