Why is happiness important? To the Dalai Lama, he states that it’s our purpose in life to seek it. Happiness is fundamental to our wellbeing and the path to a good life. Not only do happier people attract a mate, enjoy stronger and more satisfying marriages, and are better parents, but they are also healthier with better immune function and live up to 10 years longer than their less happy peers. This book is a plethora of knowledge on happiness and how to become happier. Points from the book are:
1. Just as stated in the book The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor, those who are happier become more successful. We tend to think that success brings us happiness, but in fact, it’s the other way around. “The benefits of happiness extend to the workplace, as well, with happy individuals performing better and enjoying greater personal success on every level, including higher income. In fact, studies show that higher income is more directly related to one’s level of happiness than to one’s level of education. Extensive research has also shown that organizations with happy employees are more successful, consistently demonstrating greater profitability; this isn’t surprising considering that happy workers are more productive, more loyal to the company, take fewer sick days, show up to work more consistently, have fewer conflicts with coworkers, quit their jobs less frequently, and generate greater customer satisfaction.“
2. Time and time again do I hear that giving to others brings happiness. Tai Lopez, Tony Robbins, T. Harv Eker, Oprah, and more successful people have all stated an importance of giving/contributing to some sort of charity or service. By giving to others, we feel a sense of abundance and it uplifts our mood. “There is an inextricable link between one’s personal happiness and kindness, compassion, and caring for others. And this is a two-way street: increased happiness leads to greater compassion, and increased compassion leads to greater happiness. In other words, studies have found not only that happier people tend to be more caring and more willing to reach out and help others, but that by deliberately cultivating greater kindness and compassion, a person will experience increased happiness.“
3. A lot of people tend to think that it’s material things or the environment that affects one’s level of happiness. This may be the case but those things only bring momentary happiness. This is why I believe people become shopping addicts. They get such a high from purchasing things to escape their reality. However when that high soon subsides, they’re looking to purchase something else to elevate their happiness. This then becomes a vicious cycle and then turns into an addiction. “Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events. Success may result in a temporary feeling of elation, or tragedy may send us into a period of depression, but sooner or later our overall level of happiness tends to migrate back to a certain baseline. Psychologists call this process adaptation, and we can see how this principle operates in our everyday life; a pay raise, a new car, or recognition from our peers may lift our mood for a while, but we soon return to our customary level of happiness.” He later states, “In identifying one’s mental state as the prime factor in achieving happiness, of course that doesn’t deny that our basic physical needs for food, clothing, and shelter must be met. But once these basic needs are met, the message is clear: we don’t need more money, we don’t need greater success or fame. we don’t need the perfect body or even the perfect mate-right now, at this very moment, we have a mind, which is all the basic equipment we need to achieve complete happiness.“
4. Ever since I found my lost passion for reading, I have never been happier than before. I couldn’t explain why I felt that way; I thought it was the sense of accomplishment or maybe the fact that I was satiating my curiosity. But it appears that educating yourself has a direct affect on your level of happiness. “Given his extensive background and training in Buddhist philosophy and meditation, it is interesting that the Dalai Lama identifies learning and education as the first step in bringing about internal transformation, rather than more transcendental or mystical spiritual practices. Although education is commonly acknowledged as important in learning new skills or securing a good job, its role as a vital factor in achieving happiness is widely overlooked. Yet studies have shown that even purely academic education is directly linked to a happier life. Numerous surveys have conclusively found that higher levels of education have a positive correlation with better health and a longer life, and even protect an individual from depression. In trying to determine the reasons for these beneficial effects of education, scientists have reasoned that better-educated individuals are more aware of health risk factors, are better able to implement healthier lifestyle choices, feel a greater sense of empowerment and self-esteem, have greater problem-solving skills and more effective coping strategies- all factors that can contribute to a happier, healthier life.“
By Ryan Lee
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