All of us want the key to happiness. Learned scholars for years have sought answers to this conundrum.
Plato studied the good life at his academy, while Confucius walked from village to village sharing his prescription for fulfillment.
Every today, there are self-help gurus lining book stores, touting the new science of happiness or the politically correct “Positive Psychology”.
As a professor at college, I have often been approached by students asking an answer to happiness.
Why this interest in the study of happiness, not only at institutions of higher learning but across schools, colleges and corporations across the country and the world?
One possible answer is that depression rates are 10 times higher than they were just a decade ago. Money has not seemed to bring people happiness, and that has everyone seeking answers to resolve the paradox.
Our pace of life has increased dramatically ad we are trying to squeeze more into our digital world today and spend less time on activities that are real sources of happiness, whether at work, play or in solitude or with family and friends.
Our busyness, along with the stress it brings, may be part of what is making us unhappy.
Studies have shown that time affluence - the feeling of having enough hours to pursue meaningful activities and enjoy leisure - is a consistent predictor of wellbeing, while materialistic affluence is not.
Another common barrier to happiness is the false expectation that only one thing - the house, the car, the job or the spouse - will bring eternal bliss, a notion that inevitably leads to disappointment.
A happy life is not shaped by an event or purchase, rather it is shaped incrementally, moment by moment.
The good news is that how we use our time and resources is directly under our control and most people fall short of their happiness potential because the misuse precious time.
Learn to safeguard your time and spend it wisely on things and relationships that bring you true pleasure and a sense of meaning and purpose and you are sure to feel progressively happier, not just for an hour or a day, but as a habit over a lifetime.
In the next article, we’ll discuss your personality type and recommend a few exercises that will help you experience more happy moments.
They are written by psychologists based on interventions and are meant to encourage you to take a “time-in” to reflect, so you will make the right choices that bring you joy.