Sunday, June 2, 2013

Some Thoughts on Happiness

I thought that I would post a list here so that I could refer to it as needed. Like many people in today I sometimes struggle with my state of happiness.

I watched the movie "Happy" this week and discovered a number of interesting facts about happiness. First, our overall happiness is derived by three components: (i) 50% is our genetic set point or range, the disposition we are born with; (ii) surprisingly only 10% of our happiness is based on our circumstances, social status or health; (iii) the remaining 40% of our happiness is based on actions that we choose to do or things that a person can do on a regular basis with intention. Second, the movie also discussed two types of goals, extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic goals are focused on something external to ourselves: money, image or social status. Intrinsic goals are internal psychological needs that we can satisfy, such as: personal growth, relationships and desire to help. Extrinsic and intrinsic goals (or values) are in opposition to each other, but studies have found that people that focus on intrinsic goals are happier.

Over the years I have jotted down actions that put me on a better path, some of which I have listed below. This is just my list, but I would be interested in knowing what is on your list of actions that you take to settle the mind, lift your spirits and put you in a better mood. I was happy to see how consistent my list was with the ideas that were explored in the movie.
  • Exercise your body daily and eat natural foods

  • Be conscious of relationships and make sure to be exposed to healthy, positive and quality people

  • Be in constant appreciation of all one has in life - inform this with exposure to those less fortunate than yourself

  • Perform acts that support, contribute and advance another person's life

  • Live a life that strives to move towards moral ideals

  • Make an effort to ensure life-long learning, increasing knowledge, developing new skills beyond one's comfort zone and pushing to understand complex subject matter

  • Have strong control and constant awareness as to the amount and type of media that one is exposed to and consumes

  • Be prepared, show up on time and apply yourself

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