Ming the Mechanic:
Happiness

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Happiness2006-05-07 23:21
16 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

This is a PDF file, a paper from some investment strategy company on ... the psychology of happiness. I suppose it is meant to show investors that there's more to life than money, and maybe that more is important. As Adam Smith said:
Through the whole of his life he pursues the idea of a certain artificial and elegant repose which he may never arrive at, for which he sacrifices a real tranquillity that is at all times in his power, and which, if in the extremity of old age he should at last attain to it, he will find to be in no respect preferable to that humble security and contentment which he had abandoned for it. It is then, in the last dregs of life, his body wasted with toil and disease, his mind galled and ruffled by the memory of a thousand injuries and disappointments which he imagines he has met with from the injustice of his enemies, or from the perfidy and ingratitude of his friends, that he begins at last to find that wealth and greatness are mere trinkets of frivolous utility, no more adapted for procuring ease of body or tranquillity of mind, than the tweezer-cases of the lover of toys.
So, they present some various studies and graphs of how happy people are, and what seems to be contributing to it. It adds up pretty much to this set of bullet points:
1) Don’t equate happiness with money. People adapt to income shifts relatively quickly, the long lasting benefits are essentially zero.
2) Exercise regularly. Regular exercise is an effective cure for mild depression and anxiety. It also stimulates more energy, and is good for the mind and body.
3) Have sex (preferably with someone you love). Need I say more?
4) Devote time and effort to close relationships. Confiding and discussing problems and issues is good for happiness, so work on these relationships.
5) Pause for reflection, meditate on the good things in life. Focusing on the good aspects of life helps to prevent hedonic adaptation.
6) Seek work that engages your skills, look to enjoy your job. Doing well at work creates happiness, and the easiest way of doing well at work, is doing a job you enjoy.
7) Give your body the sleep it needs. Too many people have a sleep deficit, resulting in fatigue, gloomy moods and lack of concentration.
8) Don’t pursue happiness for its own sake, enjoy the moment. Because people don’t understand what makes them happy, pursuing happiness can be self-defeating. Additionally, if people start to aim for happiness they are doing activities for happiness’s sake rather than actually enjoying the activity itself.
9) Take control of your life, set yourself achievable goals. People are happiest when they achieve their aims, so set yourself goals which stretch you, but are achievable.
10) Remember to follow rules 1-9. Following these guidelines sounds easy, but actually requires willpower and effort.



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16 comments

8 May 2006 @ 08:00 by Tim @80.1.224.13 : Number 6
Great synopsis Ming. Sometimes I've found myself doing work that doesn't engage me 100%. So maybe an addendum to Number 6 might be be " ... and if you can't (yet) do something you love, then love (accept) what your currently doing for the time being."  


9 May 2006 @ 00:57 by taranga @80.168.172.27 : other sources of happiness
A time travelling 40ft high elephant came to London to look for a lost little girl [a mere 20ft high]

I was so happy joining in this event over the W/E - an out of this world experience - lets have more of this wonderful French inspiration

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9 May 2006 @ 03:16 by ming : Royal de Luxe
Yeah, I'd love to see that too. I'm a big fan. I'd have mentioned it, if I hadn't already mentioned when they did it in France last year. Unfortunately not in my local area, but hopefully they end up here again.  


9 May 2006 @ 05:41 by Tim @80.1.224.13 : Elephant
I happened to see it too - absolutely amazing!!  


20 Aug 2006 @ 20:08 by michelle @88.107.183.44 : no link
I have less money now than ever, but I am also happier than ever. Disproves any link between the two unless it is an adverse link.  


19 Dec 2014 @ 18:49 by Allison @190.39.120.80 : nbmeoVdVhlMHxTbQl
Wow. You take absolutely aazming photographs and I'm adding you to my blog roll stat! I am so inspired by the shots that you take, absolutely gorgeous! Please keep being who you are and letting your photography express that! I live in Seattle as well!xoxo  


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