I've just seen an intresting documentary going by the title of this thread. Since it was in german, I'ld like to translate the key thesis to you:
I am choosing a very analytical approach here, detached from subjective human elements. I am only talking about brain chemistry, so there is definitly more to it than just that whats said here:
The documentary talked about the 3 pillars of luck. And it named the methods and instruments that gives us a dopamine flash in the brain:
1. pillar: Sports, they said that sports activate our body to go to its limits. They named a hormone that is activated when you do sports, I forgot its name but it wasnt adrenaline. That hormone makes you able to go to the limit and afterwards when you've done sports you'll feel happy.
They said nature has encoded the will to take risks in us and those who have sucessfully taken a risk are rewarded with dopamine. It's a good theory I think.
2. Creativity, they had an artist who worked 10 hours a day 7 days a week but was the happiest man on Earth. He build sculptures and loved his job and the long work hours didnt bother him. He said he's happy when his creation is done and the documentary said that nature has encoded the will to be creative in us, cause creative people are known to solve problems quicker and therefore can be just overall be better at their work.
3. Community, tho evolution theory says that the natural evolution is an egoist, fact is that people become happy when they have community. There's no real scientific theory behind that, it's just a measureable fact that people for example have higher dopamine levels when working in a community in church or just meeting for the weekly book club.
There are two more things they said, which do influence your dopamine level. 1st of course are drugs, everybody knows that and 2nd one is meditation. They figured the people in chinese monk schools are just definitly more chilled.
I found that intresting, I thought to myself, when I was a young adult I was happy to go drinking with my pals every week. On mondays I was looking forward to going having a drink on thursday it was what motivated me to do all the other things in a week. Back then I had no real job, hobby or sport or whatsoever. Just went to University and had my drinking pals and the internet. Which all was no community to make me happy. So I found my luck via drugs, because I wanted to.
Of course there is more to it, but just from a purly analytical approach the theory looks nice I think. Nowadays I have my hobby engineering projects where I power out all my creativity. I am pissed when I dont have enough money in a month to have some leftover for my hobbies, so this's basically my primary source of luck. I am part of a community, called typologycentral and I am starting to do some sports with my girlfriend.
I think I had such an easy time to quit smoking nowadays aswell, because I've found alternative sources of luck for myself. Since smoking is nothing but giving yourself dopamine flashes, this makes some sense to me again.
My girlfriend had a harder time to quit and I think its because she hasnt really built alternative sources of luck for herself so far. She always wants to go in to creative writing and write her book but her job is too taxing at the moment to leave her with power to do that. A real community or circle of friends she aint part of at the moment. She doesnt use the internet for foruming or things like that and she's not from the city we are living in atm so she doesnt know to much people and we havent done a sport so far. So I think at least the last thing could bring her a bit fun again and we are working on that.
What do you think ? I think it's an intresting little theory