If You’re So Smart…

… Why aren’t You Happy?

A good question for all of us to ponder.

It’s also the name of a book coming out in a few months written by a marketing professor who’s done lots of research on, you guessed it…happiness.

He asks his readers and students to 1) Define what happiness means to them, then 2) List 3 or 4 activities that make them happy, supporting that definition they just created.

So take a minute right now and define happiness…whatever it is that makes YOU happy. Then write down actions you take to keep that happiness… happening.

I just love that Happiness and Positive Psychology are topics of research and publications at major universities these days. It’s about time! Many of us have known for years that the power of positive thinking is real and helps to create success and fulfilling lives. No longer is it a “fluffy” subject to be “poo-poo’d” out of academics or the business world. No sir-ee! It belongs smack in the middle of every single day, any location, and every person.

Raj Raghunathan, a marketing professor at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business in Austin says that the first of the “7 Deadly Happiness Sins” is devaluing it and that people regularly sacrifice happiness for money, fame/success, and relationships.

(I’m taking his class, “A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment, a MOOC through Coursera** and will be sharing more information in the coming weeks!)

The reasons people devalue happiness?
His research shows there are common negative beliefs about it. For instance:
It leads to laziness
It makes people selfish
It’s fleeting so not worth the effort

Can you believe that??
I can. It’s in our culture, in our homes and families, that we must strive, keep up with the Jones’, be productive, and busy contributors to society. Who’s got time for happiness?

We have to MAKE time. We have to move it up on the priority list and here’s why:
Happy people are healthier, more sociable, do better at work, and are better citizens.

Anyone see anything lazy, selfish, or short-lived about those characteristics?? Hmmm??

We can’t take care of our lives, let alone others’ lives, our work and volunteer activities unless we are in a good head space. Happiness is crucial to us all.

Back to your definition of happiness:
Maybe you wrote things like Joy, an Abundance of everything you need, Serenity, Curiosity/Interest, or Fun/Laughter. Maybe Authenticity, or Love and Connection with others. Maybe any number of things. It’s very personal to YOU.
(Heres’s mine: Peace of mind and detachment from worry)

Then there’s your list of happiness activities:
Whatever they are, do them. Regularly. Consistently.
(Here are mine: being outdoors, a daily spiritual practice, creating/writing/making stuff, and a cup of my favorite tea)

Haven’t done this little exercise yet? Take time now. Write it in a special place where you’ll see it often. Brush it up and fine tune it here and there and keep including it in your daily life. Make it happen.

There you go. A little KICK to remind you of the importance of happiness in your life, in the world, AND the importance of defining it, and then doing those things that bring it on.Happiness

So bring it on…happiness in loads and more than you can imagine. YOU deserve it. YOU can create it right here, right now.

Choose to have a great, very happy week!

**MOOC – Massive Open Online Course, classes in a wide variety of subjects offered through companies such as Coursera, edX and others, and taught by major university professors; many are free of charge!

One Comment

  1. Susan says:

    This was great Debbie and I can’t wait to hear more as you participate in the class! Thanks!

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