Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Great Blog Post on Happiness

Here's a great blog post, from a blog called Get Rich Slowly. It concerns the topic that has bedeviled mankind since we began to conquer the issue of basic physical survival--ie, when we stopped living like animals. That topic is happiness.

I first came across the issue of happiness watching Dan Gilbert give a talk at TED. It was very powerful. He showed people who had lost everything, yet were happier than they were when they had everything. How could that be?

Gilbert says that we aren't good at knowing what makes us happy, and we underestimate our ability to adjust to changing times. Good times look better than they are going to be, and bad times look worse. There is something profound in that. When I was going through the worst year leading up to the divorce, I was motivated by reading Stumbling on Happiness, because I learned that you cannot predict how you will feel in a given situation.

In fact, Gilbert says you should talk to people who are going through that situation right now if you want to know how you feel. Because, we are not that different as we would like to think.

And I did that. I found a support group of people who were going through what I was, and for the same reasons, and I saw them surviving and thriving on the other side, and I began to realize I could to.

It was a key step to get me where I needed to be to make a change in as healthy a way as possible.

This post chronicles the recent thoughts on happiness, from how much of it we can control (40%), the "hedonic treadmill," Dan Gilbert and 13 steps to a happier life. Its an impressive post and I recommend it to you.

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