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Happiness 101
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Happiness 101

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This is the core Powerpoint for a a short course on Positive Psychology and the Psychology of Happiness

This is the core Powerpoint for a a short course on Positive Psychology and the Psychology of Happiness

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  • Positive Psychology- a rather new field (1998)—it breaks from humanistic psychology that has its beginnings in the 1960’s and 1970’s…more research oriented/less on the pop-psychology/self-help sideWeeach have potential to be happy—in our own way/yet some things about happiness are universal (people are not happy when everyone hates them/if they don’t have basic needs met) Social needs key to happinessWe have some control—50% genetic makeup, 10% life circumstance (40% is influenced by thoughts/actions)—research shows that most of us have a set point/but it can changeImportant factors—the rest of the presentation will look in more detail at thisYes, up to a point-(later in talk)Contagious- YES—surround yourself with genuinely happy people, you will be happierProbably underrated—people who are happy tend to be more creative, generous, helpful, self-confident, better coping abilities…
  • Research says that happiness is correlated with success in various parts of life—work, relationships, happy people live longer, better, etc.Success in a variety of areas leads to happiness
  • Things that provide us both pleasure and meaning are more likely to bring us lifelong happiness.Life Map—
  • COMMUNITY- economic freedom, high employment rate, tolerance, quality of government/legal system, community space, walkabilityWORKPLACE- (Half of our waking hours—better be a place of happiness) avoid long commutes, limited work week, adequate vacation, happy hour, the right boss (TEACHING)SOCIAL LIFE- upgrade your social network, join a club, reconnect with your faith, marry the right personFINANCIAL LIFE- Pay off your debts, invest regularly, avoid credit cards, give, invest in experiencesHOME- fewer screens, own a pet, create space for meditation/flow, get some sunshine, sleepSELF- personal mission statement, get a hobby, develop your people skills, volunteer


  • 1. Happiness 101
    A Short Course on Living with Joy and Lasting Fulfillment
  • 2. What is happiness?
    Elusive to define—we know it when we see it, feel it
    Happiness exists even in the midst of pain and suffering
    It may becaptured by other words more precisely (life satisfaction, positive emotions, contentment)
    “Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”
    (4th Century BC)
  • 3. Aristotle’s thoughts…
    You can’t obtain happiness by seeking it…
    You find happiness by practicing the virtuous life—seeking balance and meaning
    eudaimonea-obtaining full potential
    Happiness is not the destination of living—but the path to living
  • 4. Some questions researchers are asking…
    Do the same things make everyone happy?
    Do we have control over our happiness?
    What are the most important factors contributing to happiness?
    Can money buy happiness?
    Is it contagious?
    Is it overrated?
  • 5. Happiness is…
    See: Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar
  • 6. Happiness is…
  • 7. Life Mapping
  • 8. Wealth and happiness
    T or F “All rich people are happy”
    T or F “All poor people are unhappy”
    Wealth and happiness do not correlate
    Beyond the level of taking care of basic needs, money will not bring us happiness
    In US, family income of about $60,000 (2010 study) seems to be a threshold
  • 9. Goals and intention
    “Happiness grows less from the passive experience of desirable circumstances than from involvement in valued activities and progress towards one’s goals”
    David Myers and Ed Diener
  • 10. Self-concordant goals
    Goals that are pursued out of deep personal conviction and/or strong interest.
    Freely chosen (locus of control)
    Generally are intrinsic in nature (without extrinsic rewards)
    Come from self and not outside forces (self determination)
  • 11. FLOW
    Freely chosen
    Intrinsically motivated
    Clear goals and sense of purpose
    Action and awareness merge
    Loss of time
    Peak performance
    (Csikszentmihalyi – Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
  • 12. FLOW in diagram form
  • 13. What we have learned from happy people…
    Recommended reading:
    THRIVE by Dan Buettner
    San Luis Obispo
  • 14. Shaping our happiness in 6 areas:
    Social Life
    Financial life
  • 15. SUMMARY
    There are things we can do to improve our happiness
    Making changes and doing something significant does not come without difficulty
    Make the most of what is before us
    Realize that life is made up of daily, ordinary and mundane things—what makes the difference is what we do with them
  • 16. Michael Rich(828) 339-4497