Happiness is fundamental to our existence as human beings. During the last few decades discovering the truth about happiness, under the guise of “positive psychology,” has become a growing field of study. Prior to the emergence of the science of happiness, psychology’s focus had been on what’s wrong; what made us all unhappy. This may have been because studying happiness was akin to trying to reduce love its component parts, unfamiliar territory those following the rigors of research and science.
There was no formal formula for happiness until leading researchers in the field of positive psychology, especially professors Sonja Lyubomirsky, Martin Seligman, and Ed Diener, devised their “happiness formula.”
Happiness = Set Point+ Conditions of Living + Voluntary Activities
In their book “Super Brain,” Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi, acknowledge that in the field of psychology happiness is viewed as a fleeting event in the everyday lives of the average American. However their position is different. They describe their divergent opinion this way: “Our feeling is that the problem lies with reality making. If you have more skill at creating your own personal reality, then permanent happiness will follow.”
They offer tips for moving you in the direction of lasting happiness such as, give of yourself, work at something you love (even if it’s not your job), be open-minded and other positive ideas. They also warn against activities that divert you from the path, like, hitching your happiness to external rewards, expecting someone else to make you happy or dwell in the past or live in fear of the future.
In much the same way, Gretchen Rubin of the “the Happiness Project,” identified what she describes as her “Eight Splendid Truths.” I’ll let Gretchen’s article enlighten us and share some of her wisdom…
Each one of these truths sounds fairly obvious and straightforward, but each was the product of tremendous thought. Take the Second Splendid Truth—it’s hard to exaggerate the clarity I gained when I finally managed to put it into words. Here they are:
First Splendid Truth:
To be happier, you have to think about feeling good, feeling bad, and feeling right, in an atmosphere of growth.
Second Splendid Truth:
One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make other people happy;
One of the best ways to make other people happy is to be happy yourself.
Third Splendid Truth
The days are long, but the years are short.
Fourth Splendid Truth
You’re not happy unless you think you’re happy.
Fifth Splendid Truth
I can build a happy life only on the foundation of my own nature.
Continue reading “The Eight Splendid Truths of Happiness.”
These “Eight Splendid Truths of Happiness” like the dos and don’ts of lasting happiness offered in Super Brain, and the “happiness formula,” provide a framework for discovering the truth about happiness.
There is a trap that we need to wary of; we live in a consumer-driven and competitive society it would be easy to get caught up in “happiness materialism” in the same way that some who peruse spiritual enlightenment are snared in the trap of “spiritual materialism.” Meaning that even though we’re seeking sustainable happiness we could end up attaching ourselves to conditioned happiness, which is external and temporary.
Discovering the truth about happiness is a process and living a life of freedom and fulfillment, that is, a life of Laughter Happiness and Bliss, is a practice, not a destination or an accomplishment.