I’ve come to the conclusion that happiness comes from the right blend of purpose and pleasure. Aristotle first coined the phrase ‘the pursuit of happiness’ to express his view that this was the goal of every human being. Yet why should we be pursuing happiness. Happiness should be the default. Few of us ever really question what it is that makes us happy. Normally we dwell in the past, or worse, the future. Happiness should be in the present. Our emotions are the results of our thoughts. We are able to manage our thoughts. so it is in our gift to manage our emotions. Result, happiness. When we are happy we are more productive, more resilient and more creative. It’s worth spending time to reflect on what makes us happy. It’s a good topic for team off-sites.
Governments the world over conduct ‘happiness’ studies. Many companies are exploring happiness as they seek to find ways to positively influence customer behaviour. And universities are conducting studies into the economics of happiness and the psychology of spending by using ‘big data’ (this has given birth to the term ‘social physics’). It would certainly appear that the consideration of economics, behavioural economics, psychology, sociology, and mathematics when looking at human behaviour should provide a fruitful topic for investigation, not least of all on choice architecture and how good ideas circulate. If you would like to hear more of our thinking on this subject then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org