I started this MOOC on happiness and fulfillment last week. Today, everything happens so fast that we don’t have time to stop and think what makes us feel complete. We keep ourselves busy busy and.. busy! It’s not ‘comme il faut’ to be lazy at any point of our life..but what if we stop for a bit and look inside us ? 🙂
In the beginning of this course a metaphor of happiness is given. That is :
Happiness is like a balloon: the lighter you are the more uplifted you feel, when you hold a balloon.
However, there are elements affecting the size of this ballon. The balloon might have holes which may be smaller or bigger and the air might seep out the ballon and deflate it. These small or big holes are the 7 deadly happiness sins:
- Devaluing happiness: we may sacrifice happiness for the sake of being right or for the sake of other goals
- Chasing superiority: we want to be the richest, strongest, fastest, more powerful, attractive etc.
- Being needy /avoidant: we all want to be in healthy, nurturing relationships but sometimes this desire is expressed in unhealthy ways. The opposite is not healthy either
- Being overly control seeking: we try to control other people or the outcomes that we want
- Distrusting others: we don’t believe others
- Distrusting life: we distrust the outcomes and events that happen in our life and we focus on the negative rather than the positive things
- Ignoring the ‘source within’: all of us have a source accessible to us at all times but we need to tap into it- it is the sourse of mindfulness which is the ability to focus attention in a sort of a kind and non-judgemental way
Mindfulness may be the single biggest determinant of happiness. The good news is that we can develop habits and excercises to get rid of those 7 sins above and that’s what the course takes you through!
Some points of happiness and how it is equated:
- sensory pleasure (i.e. good food)
- hubristic pride (i.e. having the best job, being superior to other people)
- authentic pride (i.e. becoming better in something we were performing worse in the past)
- love/ connection (i.e. a friend lwho loves us or when we connect with an activity)
- a feeling of abundance (i.e. we have all we need even with its imperfections)
Happiness can also be joy, serenity, a feeling of interest and curiosity, amusement and laughter. All these elements can enhance our happiness levels. However, what makes us happy in the end is instintive and we quite lose the sight of what makes us happy because we are often told by society what to value which may be ..value for money, value for status, beauty, power etc. Defining what happiness is for us is key and the first step to find it. It is subjective even though there are points of convergence among people! Taking the first excersise (assessment) in the end of the session and peer assessing proved how differently people define happiness and I will be bloging about it in the next post while praising peer assessment in MOOCs.
So, what makes you happy? Take a pen and paper and jot it down!
P.S. I love the design of this course and the way the instructor presents it! It kept my attention 🙂 Let’s see if I will continue the course and will not drop out in the next weeks!