Understanding & creating a good life

Understanding & creating a good life

In this morning's free eNewsletter I (Dr. Happy) wrote a short review of an essay by David Malouf titled "The Happy Life: the search for contentment in the modern world". It was follwed by some practical happiness tips all of which I share with you here in my blog…

David Malouf's "The Happy Life" 

Recently, I reviewed Martin Seligman's latest book, "Flourish", one of the more recent books summarising the latest research and practice into positive psychology and happiness. As noted in my review, this is a great read, and more than a useful addition to the bookshelves of those interested in this topic; but it's also pretty much consistent with several other good books published in recent years.

On a completely different note, is David Malouf's essay titled "The Happy Life: the search for contentment in the modern world." Malouf is not a scientist or a positive psychologist; he is, however, a superb writer; a writer with arguably just a few peers in Australia or anywhere in the world.

In short, I loved this essay and highly recommend it to those looking for a slightly different perspective.

It's hard to summarise a book that covers art and music, politics and philosophy, all in a way that sheds light, fascinating and bright light, on to a topic that's almost been written to death in recent times. So I won't say much more for now except that if you're looking for the latest in positive psychology and happiness research then by all means, go straight to Seligman, Fredrickson, Lyubomirsky, Peterson, Diener et all (and these are just a few of the great writers and academics in this domain). But if you want a different take on an age old issue, an issue in which we all have an inherent interest, then find out how to better understand (if not create)  a "happy life" in Maloufs wonderfully readable, fascinating and insightful essay. 

Creating a happy life

Following on from the short review above, it's our job here at The Happiness Institute not just to help you "understand" happiness but more so, to help you create happiness. Because we believe that happiness is not necessarily something to be pursued, or something you should wait for; instead, we believe that achieving happiness requires nothing more than practising a few simple disciplines each and every day. And with that practice happiness can be created each and every day.

So here are a few tips for creating more happiness in your day and in your life:

  • set yourself meaningful goals; break them down; and work towards achieving them each day and week

  • take care of yourself; exercise regularly; eat well; and ensure you get enough (good quality) sleep and rest

  • foster an attitude of optimism; keep negative events in perspective; savour and celebrate positive events

  • develop and foster positive relationships in your life; be kind and caring to others; accept love and kindness from others

  • identify and find ways to use your inner strengths each and every day; spend more time doing what you're good at and less trying to fix weaknesses and faults

  • practice appreciation and gratitude; have fun and remember to play

Have you tried these? Do they work for you? Let us know what works best for you when trying to create a happy life and/or any other strategies you've used with good effect in the past. Share your thoughs and post your comments HERE on our Facebook Page.