Thursday, November 17, 2011

The 'how' of happiness

I came across this interesting article:  "How Blinded Is Your Thinking at This Very Moment? Your strongest convictions are powerfully swayed by the here-and-now" (Sonja Lyubomirsky in How of Happiness, Psychology Now Magazine).  

I think that this is a notion that we can shake our heads to in agreement - it makes sense and we know that it's true in most instances - our perception of how full or empty our glass is can be linked directly to our present state of mind of whether we are experiencing a warm and sunny or a windy, cloudy day on planet ME.

This might be the reason why wise people would often say that you should 'sleep on it' before you make an important decision. I am a big supporter of impulsivity, to act in the moment and to not always think about the consequences and the domino effect that one decision might have.  I believe there is a definite place for this as well, and that it's actually important to sometimes just act and do, without thinking twice.  This, however, might be the safer route to follow when minor decisions are at stake - it will make no difference in the bigger picture if I do decide to eat that second ice-cream, take the day off or to go dancing in the rain. When we have to decide if we're taking up a new job, if we should relocate or whether we should start a family - decisions that will have a significant impact on our lives - it probably is best to 'sleep on it'.

The bottom line is that the thing or things that are bothering us now will most probably not be causing any distress tomorrow - chances are good that we won't even remember that we were unhappy and even if we do, what the cause(s) of our unhappiness were.  A reminder, once again, that the how of happiness is locked up in today, now, this moment.  Such a simple truth but much harder to really embrace and implement - for me - that is.

What would you say about the how of happiness? 

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