Key Point: The search for and “theme” of happiness is definitely trending, and as more science and research is applied, I’m warming up a little more to the discussion. (I’ve been skeptical of some of the fluff and pseudo-psychology connected to the “happiness” buzz). I resonate with the renewed attention and connection to self-accountability and understanding that much of the time, we can choose happiness. And while happiness is mostly a personal mindset, being authentically connected to other people really counts too. This is not to say that others are primarily responsible for our happiness, but they can certainly contribute to it. So the “between people” in addition to “what’s inside people” is also very important.
Zappos founder, Tony Hsieh, has become famous and revered by many for his commitment to delivering happiness. Tony was running another company (which he subsequently sold to Microsoft for $265 million dollars) when he one day found himself hitting his alarm clock snooze button repeatedly. He just didn’t want to get up go to work anymore, and this was his very own company. He wasn’t happy. That led to Tony’s renewed dedication and self-proclaimed purpose of delivering happiness to people, and companies everywhere.
The research shows that the pursuit of happiness is a universal desire of all people and yet we are not very good at predicting what will make us feel that way. However, the collective research points to the following conditions that certainly facilitate and promote greater happiness.
- Control and autonomy; having reasonable influence over what and how we do things.
- Progress; having a sense of real growth and personal development.
- Connected; having meaningful relationships with others.
- Meaning and purpose; being part of something bigger than ourselves.
Furthermore, being present enough to savor experiences, practice gratitude, and cultivate mindfulness helps to increase enjoyment and pleasure in what we do, thereby increasing levels of happiness and our day-to-day enjoyment of life. When we can do this particularly well, the belief of many of those who study happiness is that we positively influence our own well-being AND the best interests of our family, friends and wider community.
- Take the free happiness survey. You will be able to become more aware of how you stack up on the happiness scale compared to a large database of others.
- Ask yourself what you would be willing to do for the next 10 years without being paid (yet not starving). How does it compare to what you’re doing today?
- To what extent are the four conditions above present in your life? What can you do to move forward with each of them? Do you spring out of bed excited for the day? Or do you wish you could keep hitting the snooze button?
- In addition to No.3 above, determine whether you are present enough to enjoy daily experiences, able to express gratitude, occasionally find yourself getting wonderfully lost in the flow and glow of doing something you like and are good at. Are you also finding yourself delivering value to others? If so, you are likely very happy!
Awaking happiness in The Triangle,
One Millennial View: Let’s relate this to Halloween. The holiday can be enjoyed by all ages for a myriad of reasons… Some adults love parading their young kids around to observe the thrill of candy collection. There are enthusiasts that obsess over house decorations, pumpkin carving, and the simple joy of celebrating the excitement of a scare. Me? I’m dressing up with hundreds of other millennials and going on a zombie themed pub-crawl. I. Can. Not. Wait!! BUT, we all know the few who just can’t wait for Nov. 1. They’ll literally be ghosts for the occasion, without dressing up. For whatever reason, they SEEK a reason to dismiss what millions find joy in… Their reasons and excuses can range from “immaturity” to “rotting teeth.” Perhaps, it is a sign of unhappiness, or distaste for the happiness of others. To me, that’s a whole lot scarier than any monsters we’ll see on this Hallow’s Eve. Happy Halloween!!
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis