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Can believing "life is a game" make you happier and more successful?

Stashed in: Sleep!, #health, #happiness, #greatness, Gratitude, #success, Influence!, Practice, Life, @bakadesuyo, Awesome, Meaning of Life, Gamification!, Psychology!, The Internet is my religion., Willpower!, @chrisyeh, Happiness, Self-Actualization, Happiness

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Okay, this is freaking sweet:

Via The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It:

Behavioral economist Howard Rachlin proposes an interesting trick for overcoming the problem of always starting a change tomorrow. When you want to change a behavior, aim to reduce the variability in your behavior, not the behavior itself. He has shown that smokers asked to try to smoke the same number of cigarettes every day gradually decrease their overall smoking— even when they are explicitly told not to try to smoke less. 

And becoming happier is no different.

Eric, you are on a roll lately!

Readers, consume the whole article:

This puts my mind at ease:

The people who actually do best in life only score an 8 out of 10 in happiness.

If you're too happy, you'll never do anything with your life.

Edward Diener's happiness test:

How happy are you? Try this short test. The Satisfaction with Life Scale was devised in 1985 by Edward Diener, a psychologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is used by researchers around the world.

On a scale from 1 to 7, indicate how strongly you agree or disagree with the following statements, with 7 being strong agreement.

1. In most ways my life is close to my ideal.

2. The conditions of my life are excellent.

3. I am satisfied with my life.

4. So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.

5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.

Total score: 31 to 35: you are extremely satisfied with your life; 26 to 30: satisfied; 21 to 25: slightly satisfied; 20: neutral point; 15 to 19: slightly dissatisfied; 10 to 14: dissatisfied; 5 to 9: extremely dissatisfied

To determine where you are on a scale of 1 to 10, divide your total score by 3.5.

Cool and cool!

8.3, though I have to admit working hard to try to give myself lower scores, for fear that I'd score too high on the happiness scale.

One more part of Eric Barker's article that resonated with me:

The most powerful psychology technique for increasing happiness is merely to count three things a day you feel thankful for. As Martin Seligman, professor at the University of Pennsylvania explains:

Via Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being:

Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep. Write down three things that went well today and why they went well. You may use a journal or your computer to write about the events, but it is important that you have a physical record of what you wrote. The three things need not be earthshaking in importance (“My husband picked up my favorite ice cream for dessert on the way home from work today”), but they can be important (“My sister just gave birth to a healthy baby boy”). Next to each positive event, answer the question “Why did this happen?”

Read the whole article:

Eric, you should do a gratitude roll up soon. It's not just good for general happiness, brene brown in her latest book explains how it can offset anxiety and shame...

Poignant thoughts. Life is a game for sure - sometimes frolicky and sometimes serious. After all, we do start our lives thinking of it as a game...just look at little kids playing and it's obvious. Children learn a vast amount of their social and life skills via play, and if you think about it, the fundamentals don't really change that much as we grow older. It's interesting to see startups like Bunchball bring the concept of play (they call it "gamification") to the corporate sphere in an effort to improve engagement and performance. I am watching to see where that leads...

Ha! Gamification is the latest attempt to make users do what business wants, and has jack sh*t to do with play. 

Yep, the jury is still out on the value of this idea...