Saturday, July 9, 2011

The formula of happiness

I am always looking for waking up in the morning to drink a fresh coffee of Trung Nguyen with the fresh milk in the backyard and as always she (the cat) looks at me. Sang nao anh thuc day tap the duc uong cafe xong o phia sau nha trong vuon con meo hang som nay den nhin anh va doi khi con meo nay co xat vao anh nhung muon duoc nan niu - happiness is to love and to be loved and to touch and to be touched. I think even the cat wants to have that feeling. She is not my cat but my neighbor's cat but she comes to visit me every morning in the summer. Happiness is the action of looking forward something to happen to fulfill ...but
Psychologists have now come up with a formula for happiness:
Pleasure + engagement + meaning = happiness.

- First, they suggest we need to be really engaged and engrossed in what we do. In the jargon it is called "flow". We have all experienced it. It is that feeling we get when we just do not even bother to look at the clock because we are so into what we are doing.

- Second, positive psychologists suggest we need meaning in our lives.
We can get this from doing an interesting job, or working on a project we really believe in, or by doing something worthwhile. While we adapt quickly to more money and material possessions, it seems we adapt less quickly, if at all, to meaningful things.

However, this simple formula hides a number of important issues.
It turns out you can have too much engagement and it does not necessarily lead to more happiness. For example, you can become engrossed in work and become a workaholic and less happy.

You can experience flow in gambling but it will not necessarily make you happy.
The formula is not exhaustive or comprehensive.

Pigs lay in the mud and do nothing, it is meaningless.
(con heo nam o trong bun ko lam gi het do la cuoc song ko co y nghia)