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Happiness is not something you have been taught about. Period. The ‘H’ in university stands for happiness. What we have been mostly taught is “not to be unhappy”. Hence all our efforts are directed towards how not to become unhappy. True happiness is not relief from suffering – whether from an illness or a problematic situation, nor it is in the achievement of a goal – whether personal or professional.
“The skills of becoming happy turns out to be almost entirely different from the skills of not being sad, not being anxious, or not being angry.” As told by Martin Seligman.
One of the frequently quoted facts about happiness goes as follows:
There is a famous 50-10-40% formula for this in the prominent works carried out by positive psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky. Based on research in this field, Sonja and her colleagues proposed that one’s genes determine approximately 50% of the variance in happiness, and circumstances around them determine 10 % of the variance in happiness. Automatically, that would leave 40% that a person can influence.
With 40% of your happiness in your control, you wield a lot of power over your happiness.
Earlier, it was organizations who choose employees. But today, talented employees are choosing the organizations they want to work with. Only those organisations who are extremely lucky with their hiring process or into a business that enjoys monopoly can say that they have noticed this trend.
Employees want to be engaged, and want to be rewarded for their innovation and creativity. They want an environment, which will help them evolve and grow. They need a workplace, where everyone is collaborating with each other to do their best.
In other words, they are looking for a happy workplace to grow and be productive.
“And they all lived happily ever after.”
The end of almost all fairy tales is always about happily ever after. This beautiful end is actually the beginning of a real life, and this is from where we pick up the tale.
Fairy tales assume that happiness is an automatic state of being and also a right for the protagonist of the tale.
Undiluted happiness in a blue sky with none of the problems of everyday life to cast a shadow. This is the world of fairy tales. Such a world does not exist in reality. The fairy-tale version of happiness does not match reality as most of us know it.
A lot of us want to imitate other people and have the things they have. We think having those things will make us happy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Every one of us is an entirely unique being. This means that each person will need to find their own secret formula for happiness.
Imagine, you have a choice of eating Pizza that comes for Rs 500 and Salad that comes for Rs, 100. You want to eat healthy and would like to opt for Salad.
Now imagine there is a huge discount of Rs. 400 on Pizza, and now it is also available for Rs. 100. What will you choose now? Even though we know that Salad is healthier. most of us will opt for Pizza as we see the perceived benefit of saving Rs. 400 on pizza and not the real benefit by eating the Salad.
We think that by doing so, we saving 400 rupees in the discount offer, and fail to realise that its merely a perceived benefit.
This way, we pick having money over our happiness and health.
The first part of this evaluation will require you to take note of your emotions. Since your emotions often change with each moment, you will have to track them often. At the end of each day, review the emotions that you experienced during that day.
Note them down in a journal or notebook, and do this across different points in the entire day. Repeat this for thirty days. Over time, the day to day variances in your emotional state will be eliminated. When the month ends, you will have a good understanding of your emotional state and actually how happy you are. This might take you just about five minutes each night.
Becoming aware of how your emotions work is a much more accurate way of measuring your happiness than thinking about how you feel.