I have read a lot about happiness, about life, about things that makes you go hmmm (Oh the 1990’s) – I recently stumbled upon a discussion about happiness, where one party had written a book and a critique was all about how this was not founded in science. I do love science, but happiness, it is hard to do statistics and science about happiness. According to scientist I am supposed to live in one of the happiest places in the world. At least in the top 10. I will not refer to the book or the critique as I have no interest in promoting a book that I have not read or a discussion I never took a part in. However, the topic got my attention and I am here to give you a dollar for a dime.
- How can we science happiness, when it is individual?
The level of happiness in me, might be different from yours, and my perception of my happiness can give me a greater/worse experience than you and we both score 7 out of 10.
- We define happiness differently
Some define happiness by the things they do not yet have, while others define their happiness on things they have lost.
- We interpret happiness individually
I think happiness is a decision, a conscious choice, some think it is a feeling. Some mistake the presence of sadness as a proof of an unhappy life. I do not.
- Wrong connections are made.
You have to connect happiness on something, like the standard of living, the GDP and the level of education, like that has anything to do with happiness.
On LinkedIn – the always inspiring Kevin Kruse posted an update: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything.” and it was followed up with a question from Pooya Karimzadeh: “What’s their secret Kevin?! I guess that’s the million dollar question!!”
So in hope to get a million dollars to make me very happy…. I replied:
We get our first clue as soon as we realize that happy people are everywhere. You`ll find happy people in jail, in parks, in NY, in Zimbabwe, in China, in North Korea… you find happy people among the rich and among the poor. There is one factor that is common: Things does not matter. Mind matter more.
Clue #2 – Happiness is a choice – it is a deliberate inventory check on your own state and feelings. Happiness is not a feeling. Joy is a feeling. Happiness is a sum of all your feelings AND your attitude too your feelings and situation.
Clue #3 – You can’t judge your current events as good or bad, until future strikes. I can get run over by a car and break my leg. This can be a bad thing, but it might also result in me buying a lottery ticket at the kiosk in the hospital, resulting in me getting rich. Suddenly it is luck that I got hit by that car. Then I might get high on life and waste it all just to become a hollow shell of a man that lost everything, and all of a sudden it might be bad that I won the lottery. Who knows? If it is bad, it will very soon become the past, and the past can not be changed. Your future can change. And your attitude can change. Chose to be happy. Oh there is a text lenght limit here…so I’ll stop
So I ran out of space [it happens a lot…]…. I am very happy, but I am not sure that my solution would work for you, and I am starting to believe that happiness is very individual. What you need in your box to be happy might be completely different from me, and most likely different from science? Wouldn’t science end up with an average, or what works for most people? And this sum of the things they measure, is it right for everybody? I think it is impossible to measure happiness. So I think Kevin Kruse is right, “they just make the best of everything
- We just make the best of everything – and by sharing the happiness we experience we make it grow. And that is (at least) my secret….