h a p p y

I watched hector and the search for happiness. which was pretty good movie. it’s about a psychologist who goes on the hunt to find what makes people happy so he can better help his patients. but truly he is out to find what makes him happy. throughout his journey he makes these observations:

1. Making comparisons can spoil your happiness
2. A lot of people think happiness means being richer or more important
3. Many people see happiness only in their future
4. Happiness could be the freedom to love more than one woman at the same time
5. Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story
6. Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness
7. Does the person you’re with bring you predominantly a) up b) down
8. Happiness is answering your calling
9. Happiness is being loved for who you are
10. Sweet potato stew
11. Fear is an impediment of happiness
12. Happiness is feeling completely alive
13. Happiness is knowing how to celebrate
14. Listening is loving
15. Nostalgia is not what it used to be

I started reading happiness: the science behind your smile. this book is a bit more dry and statistical. i am half way through 90/180 pages. here are a few of the tid bits that i have found interesting so far:

“An autotelic person: Needs few material possessions and little entertainment, comfort, power or fame, because so much of what he or she does is already rewarding… they are less dependent on external rewards that keep others motivated to go on with a life composed of dull and meaningless routines. They are more autonomous and independent, because they cannot be as easily manipulated with threats or rewards from the outside. At the same time, they are more involved with everything around them because they are fully immersed in the current of life.” [happiness, page 26]

“Why are people so happy? Is it simply that positive emotions are more frequent in life than negative ones, and so the balance is in the black? This may be true, but there are also other reasons people might report better-than-middling happiness when asked. Chronic unhappiness might indicate perceived failure to achieve life goals, or unfavorable comparisons with the achievement of others. As well as being things to avoid for their own sake, these are, to paraphrase evolutionary psychologist, Geoffrey Miller, things you might not want to admit to on a first date. That is, unhappiness is not just unfortunate; it is unattractive in a potential mat, friend, or colleague. ” [happiness, page 52]

“The question ‘How happy are you in general?’ put baldly, lacks any appropriate frame of reference, so people seek one, probably by comparing themselves either to peers or to some ideal of what they want. If they have a rose-tinted view of where they stand relative to their peers, and how easy it will be to attain what they want, then of course they will come up with the inference that they must be pretty happy is in part a reflection of the endearingly unrealistic psychology with which we address the world…” [happiness, page 54]

“Brickman and Campbell created the vivid metaphor of the hedonic treadmill to explain the implacability of levels of happiness. Each time we advance towards a desired state, we quickly get used to the new terrain, and thus have no more satisfaction there then we did in the previous location. As a result, we work hard at running but never get anywhere.”  [happiness, page 76]

“Our implicit theory of happiness will always try to fool us into thinking that amassing more positional goods—keeping up with the Joneses—will make us happier in the long run, but, objectively, this will not happen. On the other hand, health, autonomy, social embededness, and the quality of the environment are real sources of happiness.” [happiness, page 87]

“Even more importantly, our choices in life are driven not by our actual experience of happiness, but by our implicit theory of happiness.”  [happiness, page 89]

B hand suggested watching 30 rock season 7 episode 12 cause it’s about the characters searching for what makes them happy.  I didn’t really know much of what was going on since i haven’t watched the show ever but i did get this  quote out of it: “If you have to ask if you’re happy, then you probably aren’t.”

And it looks like monica and i will be collaborating on our interactive installation. so that seems pretty cool. not sure on all the details of that yet, but it would be bringing people together and possibly using laughter sounds. whoa. exciting. then i also would like to make a “happy gram” app that would have filters of things that make you happy, and then you would go on to schedule times of the day that you typically need a pick me up, so it would alert you with a glimpse of “happiness,” and alter you immediate emotional state for that moment in time. then there’s this classic //


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