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The Three Equations for a Happy Life, Even During a Pandemic

Habits = Faith + Family + Friends + Work

Constant happiness comes from human relationships, meaningful work, and the transcendental elements of life:
  • Faith doesn’t mean any faith in particular. Just find a structure through which you can contemplate life’s deeper questions.
  • When it comes to your family and friendships and how they should be, just cultivate and maintain loving, faithful relationships. There is no magic formula.
  • What makes work meaningful is not the kind of work it is, but the sense it gives you that you are earning your success and serving others.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Three Equations for a Happy Life, Even During a Pandemic

The Three Equations for a Happy Life, Even During a Pandemic

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/04/how-increase-happiness-according-research/609619/

theatlantic.com

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Key Ideas

Studying happiness

Religion, philosophy, and the arts have long considered happiness a subject important to study. 

The sciences, however, have only recently caught up: the scientific study of happiness has exploded over the past three decades.

Subjective well-being = Genes + Circumstances + Habits

  • Subjective well-being is preferred by social scientists instead of happiness because it's not so vague and subjective. 
  • Research shows there is a big genetic component in determining the baseline you always seem to return to after events sway your mood.
  • Circumstances could make up between 10- and 40 percent of your subjective well-being. But their effects never last very long.
  • The one variable that affects long-term well-being and is under our control: habits.

Habits = Faith + Family + Friends + Work

Constant happiness comes from human relationships, meaningful work, and the transcendental elements of life:
  • Faith doesn’t mean any faith in particular. Just find a structure through which you can contemplate life’s deeper questions.
  • When it comes to your family and friendships and how they should be, just cultivate and maintain loving, faithful relationships. There is no magic formula.
  • What makes work meaningful is not the kind of work it is, but the sense it gives you that you are earning your success and serving others.

Satisfaction = What you have ÷ What you want

Don’t obsess about your haves; manage your wants, instead. 

Don’t count what you own (in terms of money, power, status, or romantic partners) and try to figure out how to increase them; make an inventory of the attachments that you need to discard instead. Then, make a plan to act on eliminating them.

Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama

"We need to learn how to want what we have not to have what we want in order to get steady and stable Happiness.”

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Take total ownership of everything

Take personal responsibility for your successes, failures, your health, your happiness, etc.

Personal responsibility does not involve blaming yourself or anyone else. It's a...

Make the shift

... from a blame-based mindset to one of solutions and collaboration. 

When you're feeling stuck, unfulfilled or disconnected from who you are, it can be easier to blame outside circumstances and people.

Take a step back in every situation and ask yourself what you did to allow this to happen. Once you are aware of how you contributed to the situation, you can make the necessary changes in your life.

When it is not your fault

Regardless of what happens to you, be it a disease or a natural disaster, you are 100 percent responsible for how you choose to react.

The life-changing magic happens when you make the choice to respond positively. That is how you take personal responsibility when something completely out of your control makes an impact on your life.

Mark Manson

“Life is essentially an endless series of problems—the solution to one problem is merely the creation of the next..."

Mark Manson
Life as a Paradox

Life is full of paradoxes, and anything and everything that we hope for or desire only leads to more anxiety and stress, creating new problems for us.

We can be content. But it's not simple. To understand why we seem to be constantly dissatisfied with ourselves and the world, we must understand some basic psychological principles.

Psychological Thermostats

Our behavior, contentment, desires, expectations, and body clocks are set differently, and this may lead to conflicts and problems with others.

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College as an investment
College as an investment

College is often described as an investment in the future. You pay upfront so you can benefit for years afterwards. According to research, as of 2011 a college degree delivered an ...

The benefits of college depend on the particulars of each person

While the evidence on the economic and happiness benefits is mixed, attending college depends on the particulars of each person.

A child's gifts, circumstances, and career ambitions all affect whether college is the right choice. But, the parents are often more excited that their child will get into college while the child does not want to be there in the first place. While college is the right choice for many, it is good to remember that there is not just one path to success.

Human nature is more than biology
Human nature is more than biology

The level of happiness is part of our genetic makeup - we have a set level and cannot rise above or fall below it.

Some scientists envision the day that we can manipulate our happiness ge...

Quantifying happiness

Happiness has always been difficult to quantify because it is subjective, depending on if you have a short- or a long-term outlook on life. Recently, researchers have started to distinguish between two types of happiness: 

  • Hedonic happiness that provides a mental high;
  • Eudaimonic happiness, a sense of well-being which involves a life well-lived.
The staples of happiness

People will always be happy when they see their children prosper when they feel loved, secure, and well-fed.

But, this formula for happiness is so obvious that most people dismiss it. They would rather look for a secret ingredient. The answer is that there is no secret.

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Finding a balance

We read that we should eat a balanced diet, live a balanced life, and seek a good work/family balance without defining balance.

Balance is the taking of appropriate action when circumstan...

Frank Herbert
Frank Herbert

“There is no secret to balance. You just have to feel the waves.”

No mass-producible solutions

It is important to understand that balance is relative: the focus of balance is always going to be different from person to person. There is no one size fits all.

For example, what a balanced diet means for one person may be entirely different for another. Both diets may be healthy, but it is the context that makes it so.

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Marcus Tullius Cicero
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.”
Marcus Tullius Cicero
What gratitude changes

Gratitude is intended to change three things: your past, your present, your future. 

If you’re not transforming your past, present, and future, then you aren’t fully experiencing the benefits of gratitude.

Live in the gain

Stop focusing on what's missing from your life. And rather than measuring yourself against your ideals, measure yourself against where you were before.

When you live in the gain, all you see is progress. What you focus on expands.

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Subjective well-being

This is the primary way Positive Psychology researchers have defined and measured people's happiness and well-being.

It's defined as your evaluations of your own life and your mo...

Subjective Well-Being components

It consists of 3 parts: positive affect, negative affect, and life satisfaction.

Positive affect and negative affect are basically your emotions and moods, and life satisfaction refers to the evaluation of your life as a whole (how satisfied you are with your life, what you would change etc).

Measuring Subjective Well-Being

Tracking your own subjective well-being can be very powerful if you keep alongside a journal of your life's events. 

Keep it up for some time and you will see trends emerge. You'll also be able to adjust your activities in order to maximize positive affect and life satisfaction and minimize negative affect.

Set Happiness Goals

You control your happiness the same way you control your health, and If you can set goals for your health, you can do it for happiness.

Pursuing intrinsic goals, like l...

Make Your Bedroom A Haven

Sleep and happiness go hand in hand. Try to make your bedroom conducive to good sleep as much as possible.

Soundproof it and cut light as best as you can; that includes keeping away any gadget that will tempt you to surf the web.

Drink Tea

Theanine, which is present in green and black tea, reduces anxiety and will calm your nerves and make you happy.

So whenever you're feeling stressed because things aren't going your way, grab yourself a nice cup of tea to calm your nerves.

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Things that make us happy
  • Having meaningful social relationships
  • Being very good at something you do
  • Having the freedom to make life decisions independently.

Three things that don't neces...

Irrelevant criteria

We know what will make us happy, but we don't know how to measure it. We measure our success by using social comparisons, like a salary, or with awards.

Because people tend to use vague criteria, they are never satisfied when they reach it and always want more. This leads to an unsustainable source of happiness.

Do what you enjoy

If you do what you enjoy and are naturally good at, and if you focus on it long enough, you will probably advance toward mastery anyway, and fame and money will be a byproduct.

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Happiness

Happiness and satisfaction are subjective concepts – while for some of us monetary benefits can be equated with job satisfaction, some might strive for recognition of their hard-work and los...

Workplace Happiness defined

In a fundamental sense, workplace happiness comes when:

  • We enjoy doing the tasks assigned to us
  • We feel right about the people we are working with
  • We are happy with the financial benefits we get from the job
  • We have the scope of improving our existing skills
  • We feel respected and acknowledged at work
Importance Of Happiness At Work

Happy employees are compulsory for a growing business.

A study on organizational success revealed that employees who feel happy in the workplace are 65% more energetic than employees who don’t. They are two times more productive and are more likely to sustain their jobs over a long period of time.

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