Sunday, January 4, 2009

Quotidian joys

The best way to be happier is to find joy in small, regular events and occasions, experts say. Waiting for the Big Enchilada fails two ways: it might not ever come, and even if it does the happiness it brings might not be as big or last as long as you think.

This feels intuitively true, and has been documented and illuminated in books like "Stumbling On Happiness" and "The Happiness Hypothesis." (A related but slightly different expression is found in "Flow," which offers real insight into the mental state of "optimal experience." There's a good video of the author talking about "what contributes to a life worth living.")

I found myself thinking about this reading the paper this morning, where The Sacramento Bee offered a good package of citizen perspectives on what to do about California's budgetary and governance crisis. One in particular took what seemed to me a smart approach, talking about how fixing traffic problems would just make everybody happier.

Quality of life. I'm going to try to focus mine on these principles: finding happiness in quotidian events and occasions. I'll report back here on how's that working from time to time.

2 comments:

Gee Four said...

OK. I get it. I let go a little leap for (quotidian) joy that I did not fall on my butt while walking the dogs outside when it's -4F. Heck, they're as happy as can be...I suppose I should be, too. HA!

Anna Haynes said...

> "in quotidian events and occasions"

working on puzzles is good too, especially real world ones.