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"What we know about happiness, including its alternatives"

"What we know about happiness, including its alternatives"

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"What we know about happiness, including its alternatives"

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  1. "What we know about happiness, including its alternatives" Senior Scholars of Charlotte Queens Sports Complex March 4, 2013

  2. Why are we here? • To review our model of happiness/well-being, and • To explore ways that we may all supplement our individual levels of happiness with a sense of well-being.

  3. Who are we? • In the world of science, we speak of three roles: • Researcher, like a university professor • Translator, like a journalist or teacher • Practitioner, like a physician or psychologist • Pierce is mostly Translator • Jane is mostly Practitioner

  4. The Plan: • What is happiness? • What is your “set point”? • The alternative—Well-Being, or “In Gear” • The Five Modes of Well-Being • Myths, Boosters, and Downers

  5. On living your passion… “To invent your own life’s meaning is not easy, but it’s still allowed, and I think you’ll be happier for the trouble.” --Bill Watterson, from his 1990 commencement speech at Kenyon College

  6. What is happiness? • Wrote Elizabeth Barrett Browning: • How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. • For happiness, Pierce found: • 235 synonyms for “happiness” • 18 affinity groups, or allelonyms • Appendix A, pp. 323-325

  7. The 18 Faces of Happiness • Cared About • Caring About Others • Mature Relationship • Pride • Optimism • Feeling Other Worldly • Material Comfort • Titillation of the Senses • Generally Positive Mood • Positive Emotions • High Energy • Calmness • Competence • Health • Engagement • Cheerful Disposition • Jollity • Passion

  8. As a guidepost… • …we need to begin with a definition of what most researchers mean by the concept of “happiness”

  9. What is Happiness? • The presence of positive emotions …AND…

  10. What is Happiness? • The presence of positive emotions …AND… • The absence of negative emotions

  11. The negative emotions/Need for Stability: • Worry, Anxiety • Anger, Temper • Pessimism, Sadness • Shame, Disgust • Difficulty recovering from a crisis

  12. The positive emotions/Extraversion: • Warmth, Enthusiasm • Gregariousness, Sociability • Activity Level • Proneness to Take a Leadership Role • Trust • Tact

  13. So, happiness is… • …an abundance of positive emotion, and • …a minimum of negative emotion • 1/3 of the population falls in each category of high, mid, and low. • Thus, 1 person in 9 (or 1/3 x 1/3) is “born happy” • Guido, Maria, Evelyn Ryan

  14. The Plan: • What is happiness? • What is your “set point”?

  15. Your Set Point: The 1-in-9 Happy Person The Rest of Us! (8 of 9) Us!

  16. The rest of us… • …have a “set point” for happiness • Is like a thermostat

  17. The Set Point—How It Works Trip Happier Less Happy Award Insult Loss Time

  18. Lower Higher Higher Level of Income The Hedonic Treadmill $40,000/ 75,000 2nd Raise 4th Raise Felt Happiness Set Point 3rd Raise 1st Raise Lower

  19. How do you get your set point? • Genetics (c. 60%) • Choices (c. 30%) • Circumstances (c. 10%) • In that order of influence…

  20. For the mathematicians… • HSP = f(.6*G + .3*Ch + .1*Ci) • Or, one’s happiness set point is a function of one’s genes, choices, and circumstances.

  21. To calculate your set point: • Two sets of calculations: • Traits • Choices & Circumstances

  22. The Plan: • What is happiness? • What is your “set point”? • The alternative—Well-Being, or “In Gear”

  23. What is happiness? • What is your “set point”? • The alternative—Well-Being, or “In Gear” versus

  24. A Reminder • Choosing to be “happier” is a high risk strategy. • We call wanting to be happier a “false god”--a goal that invites more unhappiness. • We prefer that sense of well-being that comes from feeling that our lives are “In Gear.”

  25. If we’re not one of the 1-in-9ers, what hope do we have? • For folks like us, happiness is an occasional thing, not a 7-24-365¼ thing. • Our level of happiness is primarily genetic and unlikely to change. • So, to set a goal to be happier is unrealistic and doomed to failure. • The answer for us is: Well-Being

  26. What is “well-being”? • Six indicators (Keyes, 2002): • I like most parts of myself • I have warm and trusting relationships • I continue to grow and learn • I have a direction in life • I am effective in meeting my needs • I have a satisfactory degree of control over my life

  27. How to achieve well-being? • Research has identified five areas of behavior that tend to result in a sense of well-being, regardless of… • Age • Personality • Socio-economic status • Gender • Intelligence • Well, you get the idea!

  28. The Plan: • What is happiness? • What is your “set point”? • The alternative—Well-Being, or “In Gear” • The Five Modes of Well-Being

  29. The Five Modes of Well-Being • Flow • Fit • Goals • Community • Altruism

  30. These five modes: • Will provide us with a sense of well-being regardless of our strengths, weaknesses, personalities, choices, or circumstances. • I.e., they work for everyone. (Air vs. Bach) • They are free! • Of course, if you want to spend money on them, you can! • You can use them for yourself, and/or use them to help those close to you realize greater well-being.

  31. The Five Modes of Well-Being • Flow, or being in a zone • Fit, or matching the person to the role • Goals, or making progress towards them • Community, or quality and quantity of relationships, or social capital • Altruism, or service, the rent we pay for our stay on planet Earth

  32. The Five Modes of Well-Being • Flow

  33. FLOW, Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi Hi Frustration Demands FLOW Boredom Lo Lo Hi Resources

  34. FLOW, Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi Hi Frustration (lack of resources) (demand > resources) ENVIRONMENTAL DEMANDS (sports, job, care-giving) FLOW Boredom (lack of demand) (resources > demands) Lo Lo Hi PERSONAL RESOURCES (skill, family, staff, budget, infrastructure)

  35. Comments on three states: On boredom: “Repetition is the death of magic.” --Bill Watterson On flow: “I’m always a bit slow to come out of the trance that I enter when I tune.” --Daniel Mason, The Piano Tuner On frustration: “Hatred is a failure of the imagination.” --Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory

  36. To increase flow… • If bored, either: • Increase what is demanded of you, or • Decrease what you bring to the task • If frustrated, either: • Decrease what is demanded of you, or • Increase what you bring to the task

  37. FLOW, Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi Handicapping, education, safer goals Hi Frustration Demands FLOW Boredom Lo Handicapping, taking risks, stretch goals Lo Hi Resources

  38. FLOW, Mihalyi Czikszentmihalyi Hi Frustration Demands FLOW Boredom Lo Lo Hi Resources

  39. Rate Yourself on Flow: • I would like to reduce boredom in some areas • I would like to reduce frustration in some areas • I am experiencing about the right amount of flow in my life now. • I would like to experience more flow but am unsure how to get there.

  40. The Five Modes of Well-Being • Flow • Fit

  41. The Buddha on Fit… “Ultimately only three things matter: -how much we have loved, -how gently we have lived, and -how gracefully we have let go of things not meant for us.”

  42. Or, if you prefer western religion… • Romans 12:6-7 • “Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: …if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching…”

  43. “Fit” is based on… • A match between your… • Traits • Abilities • Values • Physical characteristics • Memory/experience • …and the demands from your • Job, family, community

  44. A simple example: Sales

  45. Howardian Person

  46. Examples • Plant Manager w ulcers/bp/depression • Physician w high blood pressure • Lawyer w misery and nausea • Minister who couldn’t say no • Architect trying to be a manager

  47. Rate Yourself on Fit: • I would like to increase the use of my strong traits, values, or abilities. • I would like to reduce the reliance on some traits, values, or abilities. • I am experiencing about the right amount of fit in my life now. • I would like to experience more fit but am unsure how to get there.

  48. The Five Modes of Well-Being • Flow • Fit • Goals

  49. About goals… • It’s all about PROGRESS towards goals! • Some challenge (remember flow!) • Implementation plan • Salami technique • Bucket list

  50. From my bucket list… • Camp and eat salmon at Puget Sound • Complete Globus mental abilities assessment • Write book on Globus model • Write novel based on world of consulting • Book on mental abilities • Write Owner's Manual for Coaching • Be part of a motet/madrigal group  • Have a Florida porch (fresh air, shade, no bugs) • Cross the pond with Papa • Cross the pond with Other Mama  • Cross the pond with Henry Johnson  • Finish Happiness Book 