We all want to experience happiness, love, joy, respect, success… but from a young age, so many of us are taught to follow the rules, do what society says, and not cause too much trouble. Is it any wonder, then, that 87% of workers worldwide are either not engaged or actively disengaged at work — even though we spend an average of 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime?
When you look at the statistics, living out of alignment with your values really doesn’t make sense. In fact, living life on your own terms is quite possibly the greatest predictor of happiness.
Happiness is the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile.
In addition to making us feel good, happiness actually improves other aspects of our lives. Here is an overview of some of the good stuff linked to happiness.
Happiness is good for our health: Happy people are less likely to get sick, and they live longer.
Happiness is good for our relationships: Happy people are more likely to get married and have fulfilling marriages, and they have more friends.
Happy people make more money and are more productive at work.
Happy people are more generous.
Happy people cope better with stress and trauma.
Happy people are more creative and are better able to see the big picture.
Happiness is something that we tend to think is always good. There’s a positive psychology field that says we should be positive, upbeat, we should strive for happiness. The pursuit of happiness is deeply embedded in our national thinking. Yet sometimes people who are very happy are exactly the kinds of people who are exploited. If they seem more happy than baseline happiness — people who are very happy, always chipper, always upbeat — they strike us as naive. People see very happy individuals as naive, and people are more likely to exploit those individuals.