Gratitude Revealed
Podcast #75 — Aired November 30, 2015

This week on BetterWorldians Radio, we’re taking listeners through an unprecedented journey into the pursuit of gratitude with filmmaker, Louie Schwartzberg. Schwartzberg will describe his new film series, Gratitude Revealed and how he hopes it will inspire viewers to live a better, more grateful life.

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Louie Schwartzberg
Filmmaker, Gratitude Revealed

Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning producer, director and cinematographer whose notable career spans more than three decades providing breathtaking imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials. As the only filmmaker in the world who has been shooting time-lapse 24/7 continuously for well over three decades, Schwartzberg is a visual artist breaking barriers, connecting with audiences, and telling stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people and places. Louie’s latest project is a film series called Gratitude Revealed, an unprecedented journey into the science, mystery, and pursuit of the elements of gratitude.

 

Episode Transcript

Raymond Hansell
Today we continue our gratitude series for the holiday season. Were featuring four special guests who will each speak about the importance of gratitude and the positive impact it can have on all of our lives. This week well be speaking with Louie Schwartzberg, the filmmaker behind Gratitude Revealed. Louie is an award-winning producer, director and cinematographer whose noble, whos notable and noble career spans more than three decades providing breathtaking imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials. As the only filmmaker in the world who has been shooting time-lapse 24/7 continuously for well over three decades, Schwartzberg is a visual artist breaking barriers, connecting with audiences, and telling stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people and places. Louies latest project is a film series called Gratitude Revealed, an unprecedented journey into the science, mystery, and the pursuit of gratitude. Hi Louie, welcome to BetterWorldians Radio.

Louie
Its great to be here.

Raymond Hansell
Youre very welcome. Were excited about this, weve been watching these films in non-stop, theyre absolutely fantastic. Now youre known for creating absolutely beautiful nature films, and that work led you to consider gratitude in a very big way. Can you speak to that about that for a few minutes?

Louie
Sure, well when youre filming nature, one of the best things about it, is that it makes you present. When, you know, youre observing a bee landing on a flower, when youre watching, you know, the magic of an ocean wave crashing on a rock. All these things really make you present, and when you become present, I think it makes you more mindful and more compassionate towards other people as well. So, thats the bridge where I think it goes from. Your empathy with nature is also I think a way to connect with your fellow human beings; friends, family and most importantly yourself.

Raymond Hansell
Well your latest project is all about gratitude, and the other values that gratitude encapsulates. Can you tell our listeners a little bit about this series called Gratitude Revealed.

Louie
Yeah, well, I did a Ted Talk about gratitude in nature, which went viral several years ago in San Francisco. And based on the comments that I got, which were people saying that, you know, perhaps they were suffering from an illness thats helping them get through the day, and even loss of a child, and that theyre grateful for the time they spent with their child, it inspired me to really find a way to create more of these. And so, I applied to, for a grant from the John Templeton Foundation and came up with the idea of creating like what I call, building blocks of gratitude or virtues that add up to gratitude, and doing a deep dive into things like creativity, purpose, generosity, energy, courage, patience, love. And its been a wonderful journey for me to kind of dive deeper into these topics which I think are the building blocks for gratitude. I kind of see gratitude as an umbrella that wraps around all of these virtues, which, you know, eventually engenders gratitude in our hearts.

Raymond Hansell
And how did you choose these virtues? How did you choose the ones that you focused on in each?

Louie
It just came out from, I suppose listening maybe to my inner voice, or it came out of the universe, Im not sure. But I think that there is, there is a common thread like when I pick these topics, they seem to be the same topics that are in every self help book.

Raymond Hansell
Yeah.

Louie
You know, connecting, wonder, awareness, you know, patience, curiosity, and I think theres an intuitive connection that we all have about wanting to see the world in a different way, expanding our world view, connecting with your family, with your friends. And so, I dont know, I think its maybe the, a common archetype in our DNA that we share with many cultures. These are the things we value and cherish.

Raymond Hansell
Thats very interesting. Yeah, theyre very stimulating, very interesting. Each film seems so different and unique, you didnt try to bring one character in, or use a specific style.

Louie
Right.

Raymond Hansell
I noticed in one film it was an animated character, and it was revealed as he went up a tree and saw a bird, and each story was told in a different way visually. Why did you choose to do it that way?

Louie
Well I thought that having diversity in terms of style and approach would be a good way to do it. And Im interested in exploring these different modalities of communicating and opening peoples hearts. Like the animation is certainly a way to perhaps appeal to a younger crowd. I love Cinema verite documentary, the one on creativity, which was pure Cinema verite of women who in a halfway house whod just been released from prison, using stand up comedy and improv to, you know, improve their life. Which by the way was directed by my daughter, so its a way to kind of, again as youre doing create a sort of a family connection. And also theres power in music montage and spoken word. Meaning when I dive into these, I mean some of them for example, I would do an interview with an expert, like Jack Cornfield, talk about patience, and then I would hear those words and then I would think about imagery that I either have in my library or stuff I need to go out and shoot, and I kind of weave together a tapestry. And then you bring in the music, and I think a combination of music, spoken word, and visuals is a powerful way to get to the deepest part of your soul.

Raymond Hansell
Yeah, we did a film about a year or so ago, called Color With Kindness, where we basically had a similar type of tact that we used to sort of illustrate that pay it forward aspect of kindness, and acts of kindness. And so I kind of related that when I watched the film that you did, specifically with the animation and then was really inspired when I saw how you wove this tapestry to tell a different tale for each of the different value. For each value you offer science behind it as well. And we likewise have done that in some of things that we do. So talk to us a little bit about that science and so we can go a little deeper with the viewer.

Louie
Sure, well I think that people like to hear that theres data that backs up some of these things which we intuitively know to be true. Like if youre in love, youre going to be happier, or you know, have a longer lasting relationship, I think the poets have talked about that for thousands of years.

Raymond Hansell
Right.

Louie
But at the same time, if todays science, you know, measures the fact that theres oxytocin thats being released, its called the love hormone that goes throughout your body, and it reduces heart disease, reduces stress, makes the body feel calmer, I think its wonderful to kind of reinforce your intuitive inner voice that lets you know that, that type of practice or feeling makes you feel better, makes you healthier.

Raymond Hansell
Yeah, thats really interesting. Weve anchored a lot of what weve done in the field of positive psychology and I see that youve done some work with the University of California I believe.

Louie
Right.

Raymond Hansell
And the gratitude center there. So, its really interesting to see. Theres so much work being done in this field right now that its amazing, you latch onto another set of analysis and say look, heres another sort of bit of scientific evidence that supports what we feel as you talk about intuitively. Were going to take a short break now, when we return well talk more with filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg. In the meantime if youre a fan of BetterWorldians Radio, please check out our social game on Facebook called A Better World. This is a game that encourages habits of goodness, positive mindsets, and giving to social causes to make a positive difference in the world. Our players do things like express gratitude, share the acts of kindness, send get well notes to real world sick children and more. You can find out more at A Better World dot com. And now as we go to break Id like to play for you an inspiring clip from Gratitude Revealed. Enjoy it and well be right back.

Clip
You think this is just another day in your life. Its not just another day, its the one day that is given to you today. Its given to you, its a gift, its the only gift that you have right now and the only appropriate response is gratefulness.

Raymond Hansell
Youre listening to BetterWorldians Radio. Were speaking with Louie Schwartzberg, the filmmaker behind Gratitude Revealed. And now let me welcome back MarySue and Louie.

MarySue Hansell
Hi Louie.

Louie
How are you?

MarySue Hansell
Good.

Louie
Good.

MarySue Hansell
Lets talk about some of the values in your films. If I may quote from the film, gratitude is a pathway to happiness, so it seems like a good place to start. Can you tell us a little bit about the Happiness film and how it fits into the overall theme of gratitude?

Louie
Sure. Well, I think, you know, whats interesting is were starting to I think, look at what, how to make just a general public happy, not just people that have, you know, certain maladies or diseases, and you know, when youre happy, it makes you healthier, it makes you more generous, increases kindness. And, you know, these are, you know, happy people I think try to find positive experiences in their daily life, so that they can cultivate these positive emotions. And were learning how the brain is, you know, malleable, and that, you know, it takes effort and a practice sometimes to encourage the positive emotions when its easier to spiral out with negative emotions.

MarySue Hansell
Yes.

Louie
So I think happiness is certainly a wonderful pathway that can, you know, engender gratitude.

MarySue Hansell
Louie lets talk about the Generosity film. Tell us a little bit about the format you used?

Louie
On the Generosity video we did, I interviewed Lynn Twist, whos a philanthropist, and I loved what she had to say about being generous. You know, generosity makes us kinder, and of course, with the science we also discovered it can lower your blood pressure and I guess that they found out that it releases endorphins, which they call a helpers high. And also it can be cultivated by broadening your social networks, and by seeing other peoples perspective. I love using my nature cinematography to kind of broaden your world view.

MarySue Hansell
Yes.

Louie
For example, with time lapse, you know, I show the world from the point of view of a flower. Most people dont realize that theyre opening and closing and dancing to the light every day. But when you see them move like that, it changes your perspective. The same thing would be true by watching a slow motion shot of a bee landing on a flower. You realize that they live in this other world of time and space that we need to be conscious of, because without the bees, no food, no fruits, vegetables or nuts. Because the food we eat comes from pollinating plants. So by being able to observe the beauty in nature, youre able to shift your world view, and when you shift your world view, you become conscious. And generosity, I think, is a byproduct of that as well.

MarySue Hansell
Its amazing how all these different films are so good for your health, all these different values. How does she link, say for example, the generosity and the gratitude there?

Louie
Well, I know with generosity and the science we research says, that it does release, you know, endorphins.

MarySue Hansell
Yeah.

Louie
So it makes you feel good. And when, Im sure when youre in a group, you know, doing a charitable act, perhaps youre feeding the homeless at a Thanksgiving dinner, you know, theres a great feeling that you have, theres a high you get from that, and you know, clichés are nothing more than truths told many times, but you know, its better to give than to receive, it makes you feel better. So theres, I think, a lot of truth in all of that.

MarySue Hansell
Yeah, I think there was one little girl you had in your film, that she said, it just feels good to give.

Louie
Yeah, exactly.

MarySue Hansell
You know, and thats how we feel too. We have a monthly charity that we give to in the game, and all our players say they feel just great about that. Now mindful, mindfulness is another topic we love here at BetterWorldians Radio. We do a lot of interviews with different psychologists, positive psychologists about that, and your film on mindfulness is absolutely stunning.

Louie
Oh thank you.

MarySue Hansell
Youre welcome. And how does mindfulness fit in with gratitude?

Louie
Well you know, its interesting, I took the task with the mindfulness video of sort of explaining my own practice, and I never even thought of it as a practice, I really dont have a formal meditation practice, but the idea of filming, which Ive been doing for almost, you know, thirty years, in a way is a meditation. Because imagine yourself in the same state of mind as a piece of film, or today a sensor, perhaps, sitting inside of a camera, just sitting in the dark, always ready for light to strike without any preconceived ideas to any subject matter. That is truly a state of, you know, mindfulness that I think one can emulate. Youre open minded, youre always ready, always patient for anything to strike you, right? Let the light come in. And so Ive been doing that for a long time, and in the sense that when I put that camera in front of my face, then my brain is sort of now being able to observe and capture the emotion or the feeling that Im focusing on. And in a way, I think that is a kind of a meditative practice that at least works for me.

MarySue Hansell
Oh it definitely is a meditative practice, just from interviewing all the experts that we have, you know, they say walking meditations, yours is really a filming meditation, you get to, and you get to give us the pleasure of seeing all of this. So thats a double benefit.

Louie
That is really I think definitely a benefit that I can share these magic moments with people that was a, perhaps a meditative moment for me at a certain point in time, when a rainbow happened or you know, a beautiful ocean wave crashes on an ocean rock and all these sparkles come out beaming. To me thats a gift, I love sharing it.

MarySue Hansell
See, and youre boosting our immune systems, so you must feel doubly good about that.

Louie
Yeah, definitely.

MarySue Hansell
Now I really enjoyed the film about love, it reminded me about my aunt and uncle, who my uncles ninety-one and my aunt is eighty-six, and theyve been married for sixty years. Can you tell our listeners about that film?

Louie
Yeah a good friend of mine is poet rapper called NQ, and he has this poem called eighty-five and I really love it because he talks about a relationship between an elderly couple that is really, not the kind of pop culture definition of love, but as he calls it push comes to shove love. You know, as people get older and taking care of each other, still looking at each others eyes and seeing that beautiful human being that they fell in love with, you know, sixty years ago. Every time, you know, I share it to people I would notice that people cry, its emotional.

MarySue Hansell
I do, I cried at that film when I saw that, so beautiful.

Louie
So and also I think its kind of cool to have a poet rapper voice talking about the love relationship of an elderly couple.

MarySue Hansell
Yes.

Louie
Because I think it kind of bridges the demographic that were trying to reach to from young and old.

MarySue Hansell
Yeah, it was like a contrast, a very interesting contrast.

Louie
Yeah.

MarySue Hansell
Curiosity is an interesting value that you included in the Gratitude Revealed. How do you see curiosity as part of gratitude?

Louie
Well, I think were hardwired to be curious, to explore our world, you know, we really want to understand our environment, and I think the brain, again, with science it discovered that the brain releases dopamine, which makes us feel good. So were probably hardwired for survival to explore our world, and we get rewarded when we do that. And so, I think in todays, you know, culture, you know, were not having to necessarily like in our caveman past, explore new terrain, or new foods, in order to survive. I think were exploring new dimensions of how to live a more fulfilled and meaningful life. And when were curious about new ideas, new topics it brings out that childlike wonder. I think when they asked Einstein, you know, what is your definition of God? He said its with a sense of wonder. So I think curiosity and wonder are key to making your life filled with joy and love and laughter.

MarySue Hansell
Yeah, I see the scientists say that it really boosts your achievement in school and work, when the more curious you are, the better off you are. So that was interesting. So how about the last one that I wanted to talk about was the Wonder film, which was also gorgeous, and could you tell us a little bit about that format and what that was about?

Louie
The Wonder film?

MarySue Hansell
Yes.

Louie
Yeah, well, boy, I love seeing kids that are like three or four years old, five, going out into nature and actually the kid in all of us when were out in nature, there is that sense of wonder, to be able to look at, you know, the patterns of the bark on the tree, or to be able to observe a dragonfly which flies upside down and backwards and all four wings can pivot magically. Theres so much to discover, and basically wonder is the essence of what it means to be a great scientist. I mean, you really want to leave all of your knowledge outside, you know, walk and look at life with a blank slate, that is the experience of wonder. And that is also the experience of being a true explorer, and a real scientist, is being able to just observe, to be one, and again when youre doing that, youre also, guess what? Becoming present, and when you become present you become more mindful. And when you become more mindful, you become more compassionate, which engenders gratitude.

MarySue Hansell
And I saw that it also lowers the risk of depression, and heart disease and diabetes, and I said, oh my heavens.

Louie
Yeah.

MarySue Hansell
I mean this is just a healthy thing to do, to look at all of your films.

Louie
Well theres, you know, theres I guess even again, science has discovered almost like brain cells in our heart, and the heart has a lot to do with our intuitive decision making, and signals are being sent from the heart to the brain, you know, all the time, which we thought was maybe a one way street, the brain is connecting, you know, in a one way direction down to the heart and through other organs, and now were learning its not true. When you walk into a room, and you know, like at a party, you see a bunch of strange people, your heart immediately will tell you, like which person to walk up to, who you think you might have a greater coherence with. Thats what theyre discovering right now, and its so true.

Raymond Hansell
Were going to take a short break right now, well be right back with my co-host Greg and filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg. By the way in the spirit of the holiday season, our game on Facebook called A Better World is now one hundred percent free until the end of the year. Through January 1st the only currency accepted are acts of kindness that you perform and other social good that you can do in the game. Were challenging our players to perform one million good deeds total by the end of the year. And when they do, which Im sure they will, A Better World will release funds to provide coats for kids nationwide through Operation Warm. And now as we go back to break, once again, wed like to play another clip from Gratitude Revealed. Enjoy, well be right back.

Clip
And so I wish you that you would open your heart to all these blessings, and let them flow through you. That everyone who you will meet on this day will be blessed by you. Just by your eyes, by your smile, by your touch, just by your presence. Let the gratefulness overflow into blessing all around you. Then it will really be a good day.

Raymond Hansell
Were back now with filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg.

Gregory Hansell
Hi Louie, this is Greg.

Louie
Hey Greg.

Gregory Hansell
I love the offhand remark you made in the last segment about, you know, the idea of a cameras mindfulness. I think thats really insightful, you know, it reminded me of Phil K. Dicks A Scanner Darkly, you know, when he asks how does a scanner see? How does it really see into the head and into the heart? This idea that a camera can have its own kind of mindfulness, a special perspective to offer us I think it fascinating.

Louie
One of the things I try to do with, when Im filming, is I really try to capture the emotion that Im feeling at the time. Which is critical, it may almost sound metaphysical, but you cant just like hit the shutter release, now can you technically figure out, you know, exposure, focus, etc. You really need to feel the feeling, and I feel that the secret of why people get so emotional when they see my films, because you want to enhance that feeling through the, you know, the editing process, the color correction, adding music and voice to it. Its all about intensifying that feeling that you felt originally. And, so the camera is out in front of me, again, capturing the emotion, in a sense capturing the data, and everything to that point onward is about intensifying that emotional feeling.

Gregory Hansell
No, I mean I mentioned before the show, but I want to say it on air, I definitely had that experience of your films, were not talking about it today, but moving art series, particularly the Forest film, I felt really captured that interdependent, co-arising, that dynamism in the forest and what happens, unfolds throughout the day, it was really magical.

Louie
Thank you, I mean thats the goal and you know, when you walk out in nature, youre sort of walking out into a temple, and not all of us have the time to do that. So I really feel that these videos and digital technology can be a bridge into feeling these vibrations. Cause you know, perhaps, many of us dont have the time during the day to walk out into nature, or the means to travel to exotic locations, and even if we did we dont want to bring hundreds of millions of people to a sacred place because it would probably damage it. So I think that these digital devices, I have a lot of hope that theyre able to share the vibration, and the healing power of the rhythms and patterns of nature. To open peoples hearts, and be able to experience the wisdom and intelligence that nature can provide.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah, I think thats a wonderful sentiment, and I agree one hundred percent on the power of digital technology. I mean thats what were trying to do with the immersive, interactive quality of games. Is let that kind of focus and energy of games be used to bring out the best in people. I mean games are about forming habits, if we can form good habits, you know, were doing the same sort of thing.

Louie
Right.

Gregory Hansell
But you said nature as a temple, and that kind of brings me to the last film in the gratitude series, called Revealed. So can you tell our listeners a little bit about that film and how it kind of brings the whole series full circle?

Louie
You know, one of things that I learned when I really sort of did of deeper dive Into gratitude, this really simple idea that I wanted to make an animated film about. And that basically is that when your brain and your mind is filled with good thoughts, theres no room for bad thoughts. Its kind of like the hard-drive in your computer, if its filled up with good stuff, then theres no room for the bad stuff. So its a kind of simple idea of how to stay positive, and its just fill your bucket up with good stuff. So I had this idea of a little kind of character, its kind of, you know, going through life with this bucket, and hes adding good things to it. And when the bad things want to go into the bucket, theres no room, which is great. And so that was the basically the core idea for this little animated short film where we have our character with a bucket going through life picking up little objects here and there and the bad stuff keeps on wanting to enter his bucket, but theres no room for it. So its a wonderful sort of defensive strategy to not let your brain go into a negative spiral.

Gregory Hansell
I think thats great, I think thats great. You know I wanted to ask you, moving from your typical style to animation was that challenging or liberating?

Louie
Oh boy, for me theyre all like different paint brushes, as a visual artist, and actually when you shoot time lapse, the definition of animation is anything shot one frame at a time. So weve all seen, you know, like Claymation, weve seen hand drawings, weve seen CGI computer generated imagery, and even my time lapse flowers are technically animation. Anything thats shot one frame at a time qualifies, according to the Academy of Arts and Sciences, as an animated film. So for me, its sort of, using a different, just a different canvas for expressing, you know, ideas.

Gregory Hansell
Thats great, thats great. So what did you learn from the whole project? You know, looking back, what did you pick up? How have you changed?

Louie
I think that what I really learned was that just about all these virtues, according to science, seemed to enhance your health. Whether its your heart rate, stress, purpose, prosperity, increase in longevity. So theres a lot of science that I learned that I really didnt understand or know, but intuitively we all know to be true. And I think the other important thing, which I think it created a deeper connection with realizing. In my past I grew up as a child of holocaust survivors and so they never really took me out into nature, because they never really experienced it themselves. But in, in our humble home, growing up in Brooklyn, having food on the table, a roof over your head, it was a miracle that they could have children and a family was the lens of gratitude that I grew up with. And you know, it wasnt until I was in college that I, you know, got into photography and started to shoot nature, and that was like an instant awakening and the door opened for me. But my foundation was based on that kind of appreciation and gratitude. So I feel like this project has kind of reconnected me to my earlier upbringing and made it feel whole.

Gregory Hansell
Thats a real gift then I guess the project.

Louie
Absolutely.

Gregory Hansell
You know, Im curious what kind of response youve gotten from people who have viewed the films. I mean obviously were big fans here in the studio. What have you heard from the world at large?

Louie
Well amazing comments, as I said earlier, people who are maybe ill or suffering have used these films, you know, as a way to get them through the day. But what I really like is I got a comment from someone who said, they use it as a video alarm clock to align themselves.

Gregory Hansell
Thats great.

Louie
And I think thats great, that like you know, you start your day off, you know, by watching one of these videos to feel grateful. And in a way, its like an adjustment you make, like a chiropractic adjustment, right? That can really align yourself so you will be grateful for all the things that are happening in that day, as opposed to, trying to kind of, you know, catch up with a day thats out of control.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah.

Louie
Where you dont have enough time to do this or that, you dont have enough time to thank your co-workers, you dont have enough time to appreciate the food youre eating. Slowing down, having a moment of gratitude can really reorient your perspective and your world view, and broaden your horizons, and make you a happier, healthier person.

Gregory Hansell
You know I love that idea of kind of a refresher. You know, Ive found, not to come back to this again, but I found Moving Art Forests in one of those deep winter Netflix browsing, were its kind of like youre in the middle of the freezing season and youre looking for something, you know, late at night and I said, oh whats this and I watched it and it blew my mind. I showed it the very next weekend to some house guests and I actually used it that same way, you know, when I want to remember the power of spring and what I was looking forward to, you know, it was definitely that, it was definitely that.

Louie
I love the fact that the Moving Art series on Netflix has no words, and its twenty-five minutes of music so that you can let your inner voice speak to you. And so many people have told me that they do use it in a, as a form of meditation or they meditate right after they watch it. Because I think, you know, nature imagery, rhythms, patterns sort of can realign every cell in your body, because every cell in your body is mimicking the rhythms and patterns that youre watching, and they form through an ocean or a desert. And so youre reconnecting with the natural flow of the universe. And I think in a way that can be a very cleansing experience.

Gregory Hansell
Definitely, I definitely see how that could be a spiritual practice. You know, that actually brings me to my next question, in terms of practice, you know, I know that Gratitude Revealed includes a master class on gratitude with twelve steps to become a master of gratitude. What inspired that and how does that work?

Louie
Well, that came from a lot of the research that was, you know, being developed at UC Berkeleys Greater Good Science Center. And Im sure were all aware of the growth and sort of positive psychology and wellness at every major university across the country, its not just UC Berkeley. And so the simple things, like having a gratitude journal, theres, you know, helps people and research proves that it does have, create healthier, positive emotions if you just spend maybe three or four times a week writing down five things that youre grateful for. You know, so theres wonderful practices on the website, to talk about the twelve things you can do, but again, its all about being mindful, its all about just slowing down and really listening to your partner, or slowing down to really appreciate and observe and experience the food that youre eating. You know, what does this really taste like? I mean Im guilty many times of eating lunch at my desk, inhaling it and not even aware that I ate my lunch, you know.

Gregory Hansell
Yep, yep, no I exactly know what you mean.

Louie
So these are wonderful things that I think we can do to expand our hearts.

Gregory Hansell
You know, one great tip you give on the site is the dangers, you talk about the dangers of overdosing on gratitude. And thats not something I thought about, but I guess kind of like going to the gym and trying too hard the first time and not being able to get into the practice. Could you talk a bit about it?

Louie
Well I think if you try really hard to be happy all the time, I think it would make for an unhappy person. I think you sort of have to let go and dont assume that having a smile and laughter is the definition of happiness, I think happiness is more about being content, knowing what your life purpose is about, being on your mission, serving others, those are all things that I think make you calm, and peaceful. I would say that peace of mind for me personally, is the thing I try to achieve more than anything else.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah, and I think its one of the most difficult things to achieve. As commonplace as it sounds, its I think extremely difficult. So I know you, pardon me, you released Gratitude Revealed in conjunction with Oprah dot com. How did that work out?

Louie
Well, I had the gift and the pleasure of being interviewed by Oprah for her Super Soul Sunday series.

Gregory Hansell
Right.

Louie
Which is like a one hour interview of, you know, amazing thought leaders. And I really have to credit Oprah for having, maybe a little bit of light that can shine in on the three hundred digital cable network universe, where there isnt much positive energy, most of it is negative and filled with anxiety and fear. And so the fact that she gets into conversations with thought leaders and authors that are transformational, I think is a great gift to the world. So having that connection, we reached out to Oprahs people and on Oprah dot com you can experience all of these videos. Because, obviously, you know, Oprah has an audience, and we want as many people to experience these videos as possible. That was sort of the mission and part of the grant proposal, was that rather than writing another academic book about gratitude, which may only be experienced by a limited number of people, we want people to be immersed in the feeling of gratitude and reach as broad of an audience as possible.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah, and I think thats what people need to most connect with, is that feeling of gratitude that can unlock, not just these health benefits, but also that feeling of just kind of contentment that you talked about a few moments ago.

Louie
I read a lot of wonderful self help books, I mean intellectually I understand what people are writing about, but I also find that Im not necessarily feeling it. And I think that once you get people the feeling, then the brain will remember that feeling and will come back to that feeling, and thats the practice that you can develop.

Gregory Hansell
Yeah, I think thats exactly right. So unfortunately I only have time for one more question.

Louie
Okay.

Gregory Hansell
Its a question I ask every week to all our guests, in your case, how do you hope that Gratitude Revealed can help make the world a better place?

Louie
I believe that gratitude can make the world a better place by really just honoring the golden rule; do unto others as you would do unto yourself. I mean if we are more compassionate, caring towards one another, appreciating one another, its only natural that those acts of kindness will make the world a better place.

Raymond Hansell
Well you can learn more about Gratitude Revealed and watch the amazing, beautiful films by going to Gratitude Revealed dot com, thats Gratitude Revealed dot com. Louie thanks very much for joining us today on BetterWorldians Radio.

Louie
It was a joy and a pleasure, and thank you for the great work that you guys are doing.

Raymond Hansell
Youre very, very welcome, we enjoy it, believe me as much as you enjoy your work. Its a thrill every week. Be sure to tune in next week when we continue our gratitude series with Robert Emmons, one of the leading scientific experts on gratitude. As we end our show each week we like to share our BetterWorldians mission with you. We strive to make the world a better place by encouraging the very best in everyone. We focus on positive thinking, positive values, and positive actions. We believe more in planting flowers than we do in pulling weeds. In short, our vision is to bring out the BetterWorldians in everyone, so that we can all make it a better world. And so until next time, please be a BetterWorldian.