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Unformatted text preview: What is Happiness? What is Happiness? February 1, 2010 Reminder about course structure & reflections Discuss BenShahar’s theory of Happiness & Goals Contrast with Seligman’s perspective Today’s Exercise: Putting pleasure back in your life What is happiness?? What is happiness?? Define it. BenShahar doesn’t like the question, “Am I happy?” Prefers “Can I be happier?” 4 Archetypes that represent a happiness emotion:
Hedonism Rat Race Nihilism 4 Archetypes 4 Archetypes Hedonism Rat Race Present benefit, future detriment Present detriment, future benefit Often do not enjoy what they are currently doing “Society rewards results, not processes; arrivals, not journeys.” Example: Timon Future & present detriment (lost lust for life & no goals) Present joy and future benefit “Happy people live secure in the knowledge that the activities that bring them enjoyment in the present will also lead to a fulfilling future.” Nihilism Happiness Definition of happiness Definition of happiness BenShahar: “the overall experience of pleasure and meaning.” To live a meaningful life, “we must have a selfgenerative purpose that possesses personal significance rather than one that is dictated by society’s standards and expectations.” Pleasurable Life Seligman Maximize positive emotions & minimize pain Doing what you are passionate about and good at – using your strengths Doing what you are passionate about and good at for the purpose of helping others Engaged Life Meaningful Life So what about Goals? So what about Goals? Meeting goals brings temporary wellbeing, but it is not sustained Purpose of Goals “Conventional wisdom tells us that happiness is about the fulfillment of goals, but research shows us that it’s short lived.” (p. 68). Give us direction to be able to focus now (explicit commitments) “People seeking greater wellbeing would be well advised to focus on the pursuit of (a) goals involving growth, connection, and contribution rather than goals involving money, beauty, and popularity and (b) goals that are interesting and personally important to them rather than goals they are forced or pressured to pursue.” Summary of research on goals: SelfConcordant Goals SelfConcordant Goals Those we pursue out of a deep personal conviction and/or strong interest Person feels they chose these goals rather than they were imposed on them. Stem from a desire to express themselves rather than from a desire to impress others Pursue them b/c we want to (not because we feel we are supposed to) Identifying your goals: “Life is short. In choosing a path make sure you first identify those things that you can do. Out of those, select the ones that you want to do. Then, reduce your choices further by zooming in on what you really want to do. Finally, select those things that you really, really want to do – and then do them.” (p. 76) Personal Reflection Personal Reflection Putting Pleasure in Your Day
Today’s Personal Reflection: Describe your experience of putting pleasure in your life. Compare it to the readings and provide any personal reflection on it. ...
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- Spring '10