Deep in the American psyche is the notion that we must pursue happiness.That is, that the pursuit of happiness is necessary to finding it. In other words, it is a treasure that one must seek to ever have a chance of experiencing it.Happiness “isn’t a knock of good fortune that we must await…Neither is it something that we must find, like a freeway exit or a lost wallet.” It is not found on a quest to find the “secret” of happiness and it is not acquiring the “right job” or the “perfect boyfriend or girlfriend.”Let’s challenge the notion that happiness must be found and embrace the idea that it can be built, created or constructed.
Martin Seligman, a University of Pennsylvania Professor, taught happiness enhancement to a group of severely depressed people. Some of these people had difficulty leaving their beds but they were instructed to participate in a simple exercise which “involved recalling and writing down three good things that happened every day” like:
“Rosalind called to say hello.”
“I read a chapter in a book my therapist recommended.”
“The sun finally came out today.”
In her book the How of Happiness, Sonja Lyubomirsky, describes that “within fifteen days their depression lifted…to mildly depressed and 94% of them experienced relief.
Happiness can be created.
Happiness Action of the Day: Write down three good things that happened today.
Kevin McDaniel serves as Chief Strategist for WindRiver Strategies (WRS) after a career in ministry, sales and operations. Before starting WRS Mr. McDaniel worked as Executive Director at EthosPartners Healthcare, now Navigant Consulting, over sales, client services and operations for the business intelligence group.