5 Things to Know on the Hunt for Happiness

happinessRolf Dobelli chatted with The Huffington Post about happiness. He says that since we can’t pin down exactly what quantifiable thing it is that makes up happy, instead to achieve happiness, we need to clean our lives of things that are known to cause unhappiness or destroy happiness. Here are his top things you should know to stop undermining your happy.

  1. Understand that You Don’t Know What Will Make You Happy: In other words, the things we think will make us happy- for example a big purchase like a new car- often only provide a short-term thrill lasting up to 6 months. Instead, experiences, projects and new challenges tend to contribute more to long term happiness. Try trading more of those instead of the instant gratification of a purchase to boost your mood.
  2. Cut it Out with YOLO Already: While yolo is a great excuse to throw caution to the wind in the moment, being happy in life takes planning and hard work that will pay dividends down the road. Don’t totally abandon spontaneity and fun, but reserve it for a special couple days a week, and use the rest of the time to keep your nose to the grindstone forging on toward your long term goals.
  3. Make Your Own Path: Don’t copy those around you, instead make your own decisions. Follow your instincts, and try not to let what everyone else is doing effect what you want to do, and choose to do with your own life.
  4. Stop Watching the News: FINALLY someone else is with me on this. 90% of breaking news is either a downer, or not relevant to your life. Instead of constantly trolling your twitter feed and RSS reader for the LATEST trend, instead spend time reading longer articles on your particular interests, and learning new things about it.
  5. Get Out of “The Moment”: While it’s great to be focused on your experiences as they happen, keep it in the back of your mind that things are happening (in the world, in other people’s lives) that you just can’t perceive. Don’t be too hung up on every minute detail of the moment for a happier life.

In other news, Australia is the happiest country among the developed nations. With all the beach, time spent outdoors, and beautiful country, I can’t say I’m surprised. You?

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