December 17, 2013

"The secret to happiness through work is earned success"

Arthur Brooks in the New York Times on A Formula for Happiness

After 40 years of research, they attribute happiness to three major sources: genes, events and values. Armed with this knowledge and a few simple rules, we can improve our lives and the lives of those around us. We can even construct a system that fulfills our founders’ promises and empowers all Americans to pursue happiness.
If about half of our happiness is hard-wired in our genes, what about the other half?….studies suggest that isolated events do control a big fraction of our happiness — up to 40 percent at any given time.  But while one-off events do govern a fair amount of our happiness, each event’s impact proves remarkably short-lived.
That leaves just about 12 percent. That might not sound like much, but the good news is that we can bring that 12 percent under our control. It turns out that choosing to pursue four basic values of faith, family, community and work is the surest path to happiness
I learned that rewarding work is unbelievably important, and this is emphatically not about money. …

Work can bring happiness by marrying our passions to our skills, empowering us to create value in our lives and in the lives of others. Franklin D. Roosevelt had it right: “Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”

In other words, the secret to happiness through work is earned success.
Posted by Jill Fallon at December 17, 2013 12:00 PM | Permalink