In this episode, we’ll talk about some things I’ve learned about how to be happy and why it’s relevant to productivity.
Happiness and making a life that matters
The topic of happiness has been on my mind a lot lately, especially because of how life has been over the last year. We've dealt with the pandemic and all that's come from that, as well as other world changes. It can affect our happiness and how productive and healthy we are. Today I thought I would go into more detail on the subject of happiness.
What does it mean to be happy?
Dictionary: hap·py| ˈhapē | adjective (happier, happiest)
1. feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.
(happy about) having a sense of confidence in or satisfaction with (a person, arrangement, or situation): I was never very happy about the explanation | I can't say they looked too happy about it, but a deal's a deal.
According to Wikipedia:
The term happiness is used in the context of mental or emotional states, including positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. It is also used in the context of life satisfaction, subjective well-being, eudaimonia, flourishing and well-being.
Since the 1960s, happiness research has been conducted in a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including gerontology, social psychology and positive psychology, clinical and medical research and happiness economics.
I don’t believe we should expect to feel happy every minute of every day. After all, we live in the real world. Hard things happen. Sad things happen. We need and choose to do things that aren’t fun.
And the truth is, happiness only has meaning in a world where we experience sadness and disappointment and anger and all the other emotions.
So when I talk about being happy, I’m not talking about creating a world where every minute we feel bouncy and upbeat and joyous. I’m talking about creating a life in which our baseline is happiness, where when hard or sad things happen we’re able to process them, feel those feelings, and rebound back to that baseline happiness, where generally we find joy and peace and contentment in our day-to-day lives.
“happiness isn’t something that just happens to you. Everyone has the power to make small changes in our behavior, our surroundings and our relationships that can help set us on course for a happier life.” (from a New York Times article, How to Be Happy)
Why is happiness relevant to productivity?
Happy people are more productive! In this podcast, we talk a lot about getting things done, but we also talk about ordering our lives in such a way that we have a positive impact on the world and defining our lives in a way that is important to us. Our life will be more meaningful and matter more to the extent that we are happy in our lives. If we are happy, we are able to accomplish more.
“probably the best way to be more productive is to just be happier. Happy people accomplish more.” (from an Inc. magazine article, 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy)
How to be happy--things we can do
1. Learn to understand and accept who you are.
Trying to be someone you’re not is the surest way to be unhappy at a deep, permanent level. This doesn’t mean you can’t recognize your weaknesses and flaws and try to improve, but learning the difference between personality types and flaws is important. For example,