A Happiness Checklist

A Happiness Checklist

I was sitting in the cockpit for Take Off and Landing and I observed the First Officer take out the T/O and landing Checklist and read it out aloud. Even though they probably know the procedures like the back of their hand they still refer to the checklist each and every time they land or takeoff to ensure that we arrive safe and in “better Shape”.

As a student of positive psychology (a branch of psychology that focuses on positive behavior and happiness and optimism), I thought to myself, how wonderful would it be to have a checklist for happiness.

Happiness is a very arbitrary term and one person’s happiness may differ from another, but having said that, I think there are a few basic tenets that could be universally applied to happiness.

Those being: good health, fulfilling relationship, satisfying work, enough money and the ability to indulge in one’s passions.

Many of us confuse feeling good with feeling happy. Recently a study was undertaken, whereby students were asked to do something that gave them pleasure and then to perform an act of selfless kindness. Most students approached the first part rather eagerly and recounted their pleasurable activities that included going out for a great meal, hanging out with friends, drinking and getting hammered and having sex.

Interestingly, the second part of the assignment had a more lasting effect. When the students were asked about their experience, they spoke with the jubilation of a five year old. One of the students who was afraid of needles, went and gave blood. Another brought a homeless person home and fed him. Yet another left a 50$ tip for a waiter at Denny’s and one spent the whole day at a community farm covered in horse manure.

When asked to compare the two activities, almost everyone rated the second to be higher in terms of lasting happiness. This experiment was then repeated in other institutions and the findings were unanimous.

So what really is happiness?

…So begins an interesting and practical blog posting.

To check out The Happiness Institute’s Daily Happiness Checklist – click here and scroll down half the page

To read the rest of this blog article – click here