Be Lazy About Happiness

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Dan Buettner has travelled the planet looking for ways to make people happy and has found that the best thing one can do is be relaxed about the whole thing. He wrote a book, The Blue Zones of Happiness that basically says happiness is a journey, not a destination. To be happy keep striving to become a better person by making your day to day more joyful and learning new things. The key is to find something that has meaning to you that you want to pursue and learn more about. The laziness comes in how you do this: don’t stress about it and take your time.

Hamblin: It sounds like you’re arguing for a reframing of the idea of “happiness” toward something bigger—an aggregate of purpose and joy and satisfaction and meaning. We’ve run pieces in the past that touch on, for example, Viktor Frankl and others who have said that life is really about pursuing meaning, and if you pursue happiness as we Americans tend to think about it, you end up going to amusement parks and shopping malls and trying to do things that are supposed to be making you happy but are sucking life out of you.

Buettner: Yes, exactly. So this was our challenge. Even though you can’t measure happiness, you can measure life satisfaction, partly by asking people, and partly by discrete questions about how much you smile or laugh or feel joy. You can also measure people’s sense of purpose, with questions like, “Do you learn new and interesting things every day? Have you used your strength to do what you do best this past week?” So for this book I worked with statisticians to run the numbers on data like this around the world. That pointed us to Singapore, Costa Rica, and Denmark as globally illustrative of facets of happiness. And so I spent a lot of time in those places, as well as a few U.S. cities, and tried to piece together explanations.

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How to Maximize Misery

Many people strive for happiness and think it’s the end goal of life – pro tip: it isn’t. We’ve looked at happiness quite a few times and if there’s anything to learn from these posts it’s to embrace what you have at any given time. Mindfulness is key. In the video above CGP Grey takes use through things that make us miserable, and if you want to improve your life then you ought to stop doing those things listed in the video.

3 Things You Can do Now to Improve Your Life

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Happiness is an elusive thing – one can never have enough and striving for it makes it unattainable. We all want happiness in our, so how can we achieve a happier life? The most obvious answer is to “live in the now” and be thankful for what you have, but there are other things you can do too. These other three things will not only help you be happier they will generally improve your life! SO, if you want to improve your life do these three things:

  1. Talk in person.
  2. Put away your mobile.
  3. Have meaningful goals.

Chasing meaning, not happiness, is what really matters
The quest for happiness doesn’t make us happy. In fact, Emily Esfahani Smith realized that constantly evaluating our own happiness is actually contributing to feelings of hopelessness and depression. Happiness is a fickle emotion, fleeting, based on a moment or an experience. What’s really making us feel sad is not a lack of happiness, it’s lack of meaning, she said.

Smith, author of the new book “The Power of Meaning,” said that after five years of interviewing hundreds of people, she discovered that meaning can be derived in four forms: belonging, purpose, transcendence and storytelling.

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2017 is the Year to Quit Your Job

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Until we get something like universal basic income everybody will need to work. But why should you work in a job you don’t want?

James Altucher argues that this year, more than any previous year, is the right time to quit your job. Why? Because the robots will make us all unemployed and that starting your company has never been easier. If you are thinking of quitting your job or are looking for a new adventure maybe now is the time.

H) YOU DON’T NEED THE JOB TO BE HAPPY
Depression is highest in fully employed, first world countries. The two highest countries for depression? France and the United States.
We simply were not made to work 60 hours a week. Archaeologists figure that our paleo ancestors “worked” maybe 12 hours a week.
And then they would play, in order to keep up the skills needed to hunt and forage, etc.

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Thanks to the Flea!

Stop Trying to be Happy

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Want to be happy? Stop trying!

The key to happiness is accept reality and not to imagine some greater version of happiness. Projecting oneself into a better future and striving for something that cannot be just builds a disconnected between expectations and your everyday experience. This dissonance creates unneeded stress and leaves one in a worse state than if they didn’t vie for a “happier” self. Basically, learn from the stoics.

Our standards for happiness can also cause dissatisfaction when they are higher than what we can realistically achieve. If, for instance, we believe that happiness is all about experiencing pleasure—whether by dining at trendy restaurants or taking beachside vacations—then we’ll feel disheartened whenever we’re having an ordinary day. Individualistic cultures like the US and Germany are more likely to endorse these self-oriented forms of happiness, says Brent Ford, a psychologist at the University of Ontario.

It’s far more likely that we’ll feel content when we embrace happiness as a socially-oriented experience focused on finding meaning and purpose through kind acts. For example, a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests that the simple act of participating in small talk with strangers can hold great benefits.

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