Don’t chase happiness. Become antifragile | Tal Ben-Shahar | Big Think - Deepstash
Don’t chase happiness. Become antifragile | Tal Ben-Shahar | Big Think

Don’t chase happiness. Become antifragile | Tal Ben-Shahar | Big Think

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Pursuing happiness

Pursuing happiness

There is a false understanding that a happy life means you are happy all the time.

However, a part of a happy life is learning to embrace painful emotions.


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When you put pressure on a system, it grows stronger. For example, our muscular system. When we go to the gym and lift weights, we put pressure on our muscles and it grows stronger.  This is known as antifragility.

On a psychological level, it is called post-traumatic growth, or PTG. Where post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is about breaking down, PTG is about growing stronger because of pressure or stress.


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The science of happiness

The science of happiness

We know that happiness is a good thing, but we also know from research that people who pursue happiness directly end up unhappy and are more likely to experience depression.

The way to find happiness is to pursue it indirectly. Using the SPIRE model can trigger the antifragile system.

SPIRE stands for:

  • Spiritual wellbeing
  • Physical wellbeing
  • Intellectual wellbeing
  • Relational wellbeing
  • Emotional wellbeing.


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The SPIRE model

  • Spirituality is about finding a sense of meaning in life. When you wake up with a purpose, you're more likely to overcome difficulties.
  • Physical wellbeing. Stress can be seen as a silent killer. However, the real problem is lacking recovery. Almost 50% of employees don't use up their vacation time.
  • Intellectual wellbeing. People who are curious and deeply engaged with material live longer. It can be text, a work of art, nature.
  • Relational wellbeing has to do with spending quality time with people we care about.
  • Emotional wellbeing can be summed up as showing gratitude.


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