I just saw this guy at church today. He talked about what causes us to be happy.
The key points are:
Happiness is a result or outcome of other things.
We get 10% from things external to ourselves. If we get a thing we want, we get a short-term bump. Examples are when we buy something or get that relationship we wanted. After that, we go back to a set point of who we are as a person.
The other 90% consists of two things:
1. your biological makeup
2. a set of life practices – the way we live leads to the end result
So, happiness to a significant degree is a result of the way you live. The life practices he mentions are:
1. Happy people are connectors vs. those who are detached. Love and connection creates “wiring” in your brain that makes you happier. It’s about sharing vulnerabilities and being there for others.
2. Happy people are givers. We share something that we have.
3. Happy people think differently than unhappy people. Unhappy thinkers explain outcomes based on something they lack in themselves (they personalize things). Then they extend this one event pervasively – that everything is bad. Then they feel like what just happened is permanent - that things will always be that way. 90% of our thinking patterns are the same from one day to the next. The way to break out of this is to observe and have focused attention on how we are thinking and follow that by action – to change those negative thought patterns.
4. Happy people have goals. We need to be pushing ourselves to the next thing that makes us uncomfortable. Fear is one of the most damaging thought patterns. He said that conquering our fears is very important.
5. Happy people have faith. People that have a strong spiritual orientation that give them meaning and purpose are happier. One study shows a 7-year difference in life span from this one thing.
Thoughts on this? On a scale from 1 to 10, how happy are you?