Math has never been my subject. When divvying up a restaurant tab makes you hyperventilate, calculating any type of equation can generally cause fits of anxiety. Mathematicians tell you that what they most love about
numbers is that they make sense. Plug in this number here, and this number here and voila, the same answer, every single time. There is a certain satisfaction that comes in knowing that subjectivity will not alter an outcome. But I’ve always wondered if there is an equation for Happiness.
Is it Money + Mindfulness, Friendship + Passion, or Gratitude + Spirituality, or some configuration of each that add up to Happiness?
It’s not that I’m a hedonist, seeking pleasure at every turn. But it seems everywhere I look I am asked to find my joy. Every other article offers The Science of Happiness, The Formula for Happiness. One of my favorite fragrances is named Happy. I’ve sometimes wondered how can I possibly be sad when there are so many solutions for happiness?
I once read an article that said we expect too much happiness in our lives. That if we were to measure happiness output, we should aim for approximately 5 on a scale of one to ten. The article concluded that is a near impossibility to operate at optimum happiness on a daily basis and, that for most of us, a mid range happiness allows us to feel pleasantly engaged, upbeat and satisfied. Euphoric? No. But a solid happy.
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, makes her living by analyzing Happiness. Her bestselling book has blossomed into a podcast, television segments, a book sequel and blog. I pored through her book, hoping to find answers to the elusive question of happiness. Here’s what I found:
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