What is happiness ?

Interesting read: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200906/happiness Looks like “Happiness is love. Full Stop.”

a warm gun?

it is true that i was never happier than when i was in love.

Mama say that happiness is from magic rays of sunshine that come down when you feelin’ blue.

Here’s a question that I get asked a lot by my single friends. Would you rather be a) happily married forever to someone you love, with no prospects of ever hooking up with another chick or b) single and b@nging a different chick from AF every night, but not experiencing true love Which would you choose?

easily, i would choose a)


b followed by a

b for first few years and then a after 32

b. If that never ended it would be a great life.

Happiness is living a life consistent with your values and confident that it is sustainable into the future.

bchadwick Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Happiness is living a life consistent with your > values and confident that it is sustainable into > the future. IMO hapiness is a much more emotional response and can’t be reasoned. It either is or isn’t felt. I would agree you can make reasoned choices to try and achieve the emotional state of hapiness. IMO, it’s also transient and varying in degree, so on a whole you could classify yourself as ‘happy’ even if not always happy. Maybe I’m confusing things by thinking of happiness as bliss, whereas one might be able to be happy with moments of bliss. It seems to me that by your metric, you can set guidelines or a set of rules in order to strive for or achieve happiness. It’s almost like trying to achieve perfection. Perfection can only be achieved within a rigid framework of rules and is likely only transient. So something could be good vs. perfect (i.e. happy vs. bliss). Either way, I’m probably rambling, so don’t mind me. Also, if ignorance is bliss, then happiness must be ignorance, no? (semi-kidding)

One of my professors has a different take on happiness: Abstract: We model happiness as a measurement tool used to rank alternative actions. Evolution favors a happiness function that measures the individual’s success in relative terms. The optimal function is based on a time-varying reference point - or performance benchmark - that is updated over time in a statistically optimal way in order to match the individual’s potential. Habits and peer comparisons arise as special cases of such an updating process. This updating also results in a volatile level of happiness that continuously reverts to its long-term mean. Throughout, we draw a parallel with a problem of optimal incentives, which allows us to apply statistical insights from agency theory to the study of happiness. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=981450

James Montier of DKrW or SG (think he has moved about since) wrote a very good analyst report on happiness. Here is a snapshot of it, but you can google for the original article (I have the pdf kicking about, so if I can find it so can you). There are arguments behind each point if I recall correctly. Don’t equate happiness with money. People adapt to income shifts relatively quickly, the long lasting benefits are essentially zero. Exercise regularly. Taking regular exercise generates further energy, and stimulates the mind and the body. Have sex (preferably with someone you love). Sex is consistently rated as amongst the highest generators of happiness. So what are you waiting for? Devote time and effort to close relationships. Close relationships require work and effort, but pay vast rewards in terms of happiness. Pause for reflection, meditate on the good things in life. Simple reflection on the good aspects of life helps prevent hedonic adaptation. Seek work that engages your skills, look to enjoy your job. It makes sense to do something you enjoy. This in turn is likely to allow you to flourish at your job, creating a pleasant feedback loop. Give your body the sleep it needs. Don’t pursue happiness for its own sake, enjoy the moment. Faulty perceptions of what makes you happy, may lead to the wrong pursuits. Additionally, activities may become a means to an end, rather than something to be enjoyed, defeating the purpose in the first place. Take control of your life, set yourself achievable goals. Remember to follow all the rules.

Happiness is relative.

Analysts quantifying happiness is funny. +1 Mudda, he just nailed it all without a 75 year research project.

JohnThainsLimoDriver Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Would you rather be > b) single and b@nging a different chick from AF > every night, but not experiencing true love Why mutually exclusive? I did b) *and* also truly loved them all.

I like Muddahudda’s analysis and agree with its conclusions. LPoulin, you make a good point: my comment earlier was more about creating the conditions for happiness to grow, rather than creating happiness itself. I also was trying to keep it short.


Here is a line that I like. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.” - Victor Frankl