What Makes Us Happy?

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Lately I have been thinking a lot about what “happiness” looks like. When do we know that we have “made it?” When have we finally reached our potential? Are we ever really settled?

Do I have the ability to be content with where I am at right now?

I discovered a five-day course at Harvard called “The Surprising Psychology of Everyday Life.” Lead by Adam Mastroianni, the course is described:

“Who’s happier: lottery winners or paraplegics? The answer––like many insights from psychology––will surprise you. This course, taught by a psychology grad student and stand-up comedian, pulls together psychology’s most fascinating findings to answer some of life’s deepest questions: what makes us happy, why can’t we all agree, and are we really in control of our own thoughts?”

Thursday’s topic is Harvard Psychology Professor Daniel Gilbert’s Stumbling on Happiness, which is a book I discovered a few years ago. In my quest to live a more peaceful, meaningful life, I’ve often questioned and wondered what truly would make me happy. Yesterday I found an interested photo of a dog and a human while scrolling through Instagram, which perfectly illustrated how complex we are as human beings. I then thought, “I think I’ve got it.”

I will be happiest when I stop and enjoy the moment. When I am aware of my surroundings. When I push away negative thoughts. When I stop dwelling on the past and worrying about the future.

When I just am.

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I look forward to sharing what I learn at the course, revisiting Stumbling on Happiness, and continually improving my overall joy and contentment.

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