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6 Secrets You Can Learn From the Happiest People on Earth | TIME.com


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Seems like balance is a key element...

It has been ever since the stoics espoused moderation.

All 6 secrets are good but my favorite is #4:

4. Plan your happiness

It's ironic that we treasure happiness so much yet often treat it as this random bit of alchemy we luck into. That's silly. Passively waiting for happiness is a losing proposition. Happiness needs regular appointments.

Schedule the things that make you happy.

Is this overly simple and obvious? Yes. Do you regularly do it? Probably not.

In my interview with Stanford professor Jennifer Aaker, author of The Dragonfly Effect, she explained:

…what is interesting is that there is often a gap between where people say they want to spend their time and how they actually spend their time… you find a large percentage know what projects and people energize them, but do not in fact spend much time on those projects and with those people.

…once you identify the activities and people with whom you want to spend more time, calendaring your time thoughtfully becomes critical. When you put something on a calendar, you're more likely to actually do that activity — partly because you're less likely to have to make an active decision whether you should do it — because it's already on your calendar.

Look at the things that make you happy and plan them into your calendar and schedule. Do not wait for happiness. Game the system. Happiness card-counting. Happiness Moneyball. Refuse to leave it to chance.

(More on scheduling happiness here.)

Read more: http://time.com/142960/6-secrets-you-can-learn-from-the-happiest-people-on-earth/

Happiness in the moment is not everything:

Running marathons is painful. Completing them is awesome. Studying is boring. Having a degree feels great.

In his TED talk, Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize winner and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow discussed two different types of happiness that sound very similar to the distinction between happiness and meaning.

The first is being happy in your life. It is happiness that you experience immediately and in the moment.

The second is being happy about your life. It is the happiness that exists in memory when we talk about the past and the big picture. Stories are key here.

This is closer to “meaning":

More on how to lead a meaningful life here.

Plus a lesson from Adam Grant: Give — But *Not* Until It Hurts

Giving makes us happier than receiving. 

In fact, it can create a feedback loop of happiness in your life.

Helping others reach their goals brings joy. 

Doing nice things for others today can literally make you happier for the rest of the week.

However, being a martyr stresses you out and is bad for your health.

Via Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success:

Research shows that on the job, people who engage in selfless giving end up feeling overloaded and stressed, as well as experiencing conflict between work and family.This is even true in marriages: in one study of married couples, people who failed to maintain an equilibrium between their own needs and their partner’s needs became more depressed over the next six months.

What to do? Do all your giving one day a week.

Via Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success:

The chunkers achieved gains in happiness; the sprinklers didn’t.Happiness increased when people performed all five giving acts in a single day, rather than doing one a day.Lyubomirsky and colleagues speculate that “spreading them over the course of a week might have diminished salience and power or made them less distinguishable from participants habitual kind of behavior.”

How much should you give? Remember The 100 Hour Rule. 

One hundred hours a year — in other words, 2 hours per week.

Read more: http://time.com/142960/6-secrets-you-can-learn-from-the-happiest-people-on-earth/

Very interesting book.  I liked it.  True givers seem to be the biggest winners and the biggest losers - and there are people at one end of the spectrum or the other and in between.  Nevertheless it would seem that any one person isn't 100% one way or the other.  Perhaps boundaries play into it.  

I get the science/statistics with chunking and sprinkling.  However, it seems that if a person has to be that deliberate about it that its not completely a part of their nature - rather a way to be they are trying to become.  That's okay, though.  Without seeming like a worn out record, when a person is presented with the opportunity to give the response gets back to motivation.  

Finally, I can see where good time management might lend itself to chunking the giving rather than sprinkling it. More to think about...

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