Jennifer Aaker--What Makes Us Happy?
According to Jennifer Aaker, author of The Dragonfly Effect, happiness isn't an elusive or superficial goal found by acting happy. It is a state of mind more easily attained by seeking meaningful experiences rather than trying to be happy.
In an interesting study performed by researchers at Stanford University, study participants were asked to either 'go create meaningfulness' or 'go create happiness' in the next 24 hours. Upon returning to the lab the following day they were asked 'Are you happy?'
The people tasked with creating happiness reported feeling less happy than those who sought to create meaning. Interestingly, the two groups didn't do that much differently but the people who went out to create meaning reported feeling more connectedness to the people and world around them.
False Fronts. With all the chatter about 'happiness' today, we can lose sight of the importance of being authentically happy. Happiness as viewed from the outside can simply be a false front leaving you feeling empty inside. And seeking happiness instead of seeking meaning in your day is the fast-path to feeling lost.
Shared Difficulties Create Meaning. Surprisingly, when we make a true connection with someone who shares a difficult experience with us or when we share our own with others we create a solid sense of peace and contentment inside.
It is the meaningful experience and feeling of connectedness that makes the difference. The connectedness deepens our life experience and makes us feel a part of the greater whole. Don't be afraid of the tough part of life. Learn to embrace the difficulties by letting them connect you to others and helping you find greater meaning in your life.
Get real. Seek to fill your days with meaningful experiences that connect you to the people, animals and world around you. Start to notice how making a true connection in a single experience elevates your mood and graces you with a deeper contentment.
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