Tuesday, February 28, 2006

What's Your Set-up?

So, this guy wrote a book about happiness called "The Happiness Hypothesis" and he says you shouldn't mistake pleasure for happiness.

Pleasure comes in things like candy, shiny Christmas lights, sex, reading a book, skiing, etc. But true happiness comes from setting up your life in a way that brings you balance and fulfillment. To put it another way, you can't go out and "find" happiness, you have to discover it within your life.

First step? Surprise! Find out what kind of "creature" you are. OK...that's already too much to ask for a lot of people. Most of us avoid that kind of self-examination but to make things more complicated, we actually possess a lot of "selves" which interact with our home, family, work, and society. What do each of them need?

Your job then (if you choose to accept it) is to create the conditions that help you find that purpose and balance. Can you set up a life that is coherent and integrates all your "selves" successfully? In other words, can you create a life for yourself that makes you comfortable and satisfied with your home, family, work, and society? If so...Eureka! You might have found the formula!

You + love + work + connection to something bigger = Happiness

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Why a Meaningful Life is Closer Than You Think by Jonathan Haidt

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