I read an interesting article the other day about “happiness.”
Seems it’s a pretty interesting topic, since it’s obviously something everybody wants.
So it’s pretty easy to get grant money, funding, etc., to do studies.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to study, because it’s hard to measure.
In fact, just asking the question, “What makes you feel happy?” Will require you to THINK about those things that make you happy.
And as I’m sure you know, happiness can be pretty fleeting. It generally doesn’t last, if the situation stays the same.
If you’re sore at the end of the day, the first few minutes you slip into a hot bath may make you feel incredibly happy.
You think of all you’ve accomplished, you relax knowing you’ve put in a good day’s work. You can look forward to a decent dinner and maybe your favorite TV show, or book or whatever.
But how long will that “feeling” last? If you sit in that tub long enough, the hot water will turn cold.
Because humans are always in some kind of PROCESS, rather than some static blob of chemicals, happiness may well be a process also.
Not a destination, but a side effect of forward momentum.
Most people feel pretty good when they are on the path of achieving something worthwhile.
Think of the last time you were preparing for a party. A part you would enjoy hosting or attending.
While you were preparing whatever it was (be it shopping for clothes or baking a cake) you probably felt pretty good.
You were CREATING something that was important to you, and LOOKING FORWARD into the future when something good was going to happen.
On the other hand, think of a time when you were just sitting there, doing nothing, with NOTHING to look forward to.
Quite a different experience!
It seems an easy conclusion that so long as you are in the process of changing something towards a better future, one that is largely in your control, happiness is a natural by product.
The good news is that ANYTHING will work. So long as you are taking some kind of action every single day, that isn’t just a pastime in and of itself, but something toward a goal YOU have chosen, you’ll be much more likely to be happy.
One thing can do is some mental exercises.
Since your brain, and the quality of your thoughts, is a PRIME INGREDIENT in anything you’ll be building in this life, working on your noggin seems to be a good choice.
Some daily practice will give you that feeling of forward momentum, enough so that when you look a year or two into your future, you’ll have a deep and real feeling that it WILL be awesome.