The Science of Happiness

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Many people seem to be in a continual pursuit of happiness believing they are not happy or fulfilled in their current life. But the problem is that most people have the misconception that happiness is a feeling, because the narrative talks about “feeling happy”.

But that’s not how happiness works scientifically. Science is not a feeling. It is a fact based on experimentation and knowledge.

Pursue Your Purpose

Feeling happy is evidence of happiness. But you have to understand what you did to get that feeling. You have to factually work towards your purpose in life at all times, to ensure the feeling of happiness persists.

You have to be serious about your pursuit of happiness in the same way you would be serious about your pursuit of a fitter healthier body. Sitting around on the couch eating processed food and watching Netflix is not going to get you fit. In the same way that sitting around, repeating mantras and hoping happiness comes to you is not going to make you happy.

Do The Work & Adopt Good Habits

If feelings are the evidence of happiness. Then habitually doing good work and gaining knowledge to ensure you are happy is the effort required to reach the desired feeling. You cannot complain about your job or your life, whilst doing nothing to change it and expect happiness to come.

In all matters of success, it is the work you put in which brings the results. There are too many people in life who complain about their lives but do nothing to change it. They can never be happy as they find themselves in a never ending cycle of dissatisfaction, frustration and anger.

Happiness Hygiene

Mother nature doesn’t care if you are happy. She only cares about survival and the passing on of your genes. This is mother nature’s animal instinct.

But we have another nature. A divine nature. And it’s divine nature which brings true faith and happiness to your life.

You can chase money, power, pleasure and fame. Or you can choose to work on the Four Pillars of Happiness that will actually bring your desired outcome:

  • Faith (Divine Nature)
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Work that serves others

What Does it Mean to You to Live a Genius Life

At the end of each Genius Life episode, Max asks his guest; “what does it mean to you to live a genius life”. I found Arthur Brooks answer particularly interesting, which I am quoting here:

The idiot life has a very simple formula

  • Love things
  • Use people
  • Worship yourself

The Genius Life changes the nouns and verbs around

  • Use things
  • Love people
  • Worship the divine

Resources

In the Genius Life #282 Max talks to Arthur Brooks who is a social scientist, president of The American Enterprise Institute, and author of several best selling books.

Listen to this fascinating conversation to learn:

  • How to get off the hedonic treadmill and begin practising happiness hygiene by leaning into four areas of your life: faith, family, friendship, and meaningful work that serves others.
  • How to have faith as a non-religious person by doing something that transcends self, whether it’s a spiritual practice or spending time in nature.
  • Why you should consider deleting social media, the importance of spending time in person with true friends, and the reason that social media is sabotaging our social lives.
  • Why we should all be kinder online and three ways to respond to haters with love and humour.

If you want to learn to be truly happy, not the self fulfilling happiness of repeating mantras, then you’ll want to listen to this episode in detail to Live Happier, Live Stronger & Live Longer.

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