Learning to Be

By | July 7, 2016

What Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science say about Happiness and Well-Being
If you feel that despite an increase in material conforts you could do with more happiness and well-being in your life, this learning module is for you.
Discover what ancient wisdom and modern science have to say about becoming happier and enhance your well-being.

Pleasure : Momentary / short duration
Happiness : Long-term

Ancient Wisdom states that :

  • Happiness is a state of mind
  • Happiness is determined by how we perceive our life situation
  • Happiness is not dependent on absolute conditions

In modern science, happiness and well-being have been the topics of research for positive psychology

Optimists who do not become helpless are :

  • People who consider setbacks as temporary
  • People who have the resilience to bounce back
  • People who think setbacks are controllable and local

Milestones on the road to authentic happiness are :

  1. Pleasant Life (Positive Emotions)
  2. Good life (positive traits)
  3. Meaningful Life (go beyond self-interest)

Depressed people are convinced in their hearts of three related beliefs :

  • I am no good
  • My world is bleak
  • My future is hopeless

Based on the adaptation principle, we become habituated to our new reality and that becomes are new baseline. When this happens we recalibrate and set new targets : new hopes, new goals, new expectations and then again feel pleasure and pain in relation to the new targets.

Meditation offers a way to train your mind to stop wanting too much, instead start liking what life has made available to you. Through meditation you can overcome any adverse life condition and be happy.
However, since most of us can’t become master meditators, it is better for us to change some life conditions that adversely impact our happiness like, long commute, polluted surroundings and lack of control.

Meaningful social relationships are a life condition that have a significant impact on your happiness. If you have someone in your life who will listen to your woes you will live longer.

Work is perhaps the most important element of voluntary or intentional activities for most of us. simply because so many hours are spent at the work place.

To maximize your happiness you should persue your calling in life but even finding what is your calling can be a challenge. A better way is to first find your strenghts and then create goals that make use of these strenghts.

Remember that happiness comes from making progress towards goals than from achieving them.