secrets to happiness

A New Approach to Mondays

I've been reading a lot lately the things that make people truly happy. And here is some of what studies & experts on happiness have found to be true:

  • Finishing a project
  • Attaining a goal
  • Doing something nice for someone
  • Transforming a room, yard, or space from cluttered and messy to organized and clean
  • Going to bed knowing that one did his or her best throughout the day
  • The feeling of endorphines racing though one's body after a hard workout
  • Reaching the finish line during a marathon or race
  • Leaving a space/room more beautiful than when you arrived
  • Connecting with those you love and knowing they are safe and sound
  • Listening to someone carefully & letting them know their words are important
  • Raising a child & knowing that one did his or her best to raise them
  • Witnessing the accomplishments of your children

The list could go on and on, but it is important to notice that the things that offer you and I the most joy and satisfaction are the things that include some degree of hard work, goal attainment and the consideration of others. Notice that things like laziness, lack of progress, and inactivitiy don't make the list.

Monday is a day in which we can dive into the week and make this life worth living. It is the springboard from which amazing things can be born.

Those who suffer are those without a reason, without passion, and without a concern for his or her neighbors.

Instead of looking at Monday as a curse -- see it as an opportunity -- wish for more Mondays and more new opportunities.

Wishing you an amazing Monday!!!

"Make it a masterpiece,"  said the late John Wooden, one of my mentors, once exclaimed with a smile on his face when I attended a basketball camp in Huntington Beach, California.

- Post by Jen Engevik of Project BE Bold

What Makes People Happy? By Professor Ed Diener

To understand life satisfaction scores, it is helpful to understand some of the components that go into most people's experience of happiness.

One of the most important influences on happiness is social relationships.

People who score high on life satisfaction tend to have close and supportive family and friends, whereas those who do not have close friends and family are more likely to be dissatisfied.

Of course the loss of a close friend or family member can cause dissatisfaction with life, and it may take quite a time to bounce back from the loss.

Another factor that influences the life satisfaction of most people is work or school, or performance in an important role such as homemaker or grandparent.

When the person enjoys his or her work, whether it is paid or unpaid work, and feels that it is meaningful and important, this contributes to life satisfaction.

When work is going poorly because of bad circumstances or a poor fit with the person's strengths, this can lower life satisfaction.

When a person has important goals, and is failing to make adequate progress toward them, this too can lead to life dissatisfaction.

A third factor that influences the life satisfaction of most people is personal - satisfaction with the self, religious or spiritual life, learning and growth, and leisure.

Other sources of happiness

For many people these are sources of satisfaction. However, when these sources of personal worth are frustrated, they can be powerful sources of dissatisfaction.

Of course there are additional sources of satisfaction and dissatisfaction - some that are common to most people such as health, and others that are unique to each individual.

Most people know the factors that lead to their satisfaction or dissatisfaction, although a person's temperament - a general tendency to be happy or unhappy - can colour their responses.

There is no one key to life satisfaction, but rather a recipe that includes a number of ingredients.

With time and persistent work, people's life satisfaction usually goes up.

People who have had a loss recover over time. People who have a dissatisfying relationship or work often make changes over time that will increase their satisfaction.

One key ingredient to happiness is social relationships, and another key ingredient is to have important goals that derive from one's values, and to make progress toward those goals.

For many people it is important to feel a connection to something larger than oneself.

When a person tends to be chronically dissatisfied, they should look within themselves and ask whether they need to develop more positive attitudes to life and the world.

Copyright by Professor Ed Diener, University of Illinois
Use is free of charge and granted by permission