Motivation • Can happiness be learned?

Recently I found an inspirational quote about happiness that pushed me to think and search for something that I was not aware of. Can happiness be learned?  

It’s so obvious that we spend a lot of time in our lives about learning various things in order to be educated, to have a job, to optimize our conditions of living, to gain new skills, to make money. But, do we consider important to learn how to be happy? Sometimes I feel that everyone waits for the life conditions or others to make him happy. On the contrary, most of the experts and researchers in relevant books and articles about happiness agree in one thing; that happiness is something we can cultivate on our own. “Neuroscientist Richard Davidson On How Happiness Can Be Learned” at huffingtonpost.com suggests that learning how to be happy doesn’t differ from other skills’ practicing, like learning to play a music instrument or engage a sports activity.

Χωρίς τίτλο

Happiness and learning

Happiness and learning are very closely linked anyway, according to the article ‘Learning Brings Happiness’ by Manfred Spitzer at humboldt-foundation.de. I do find it so logical and natural. To have the will to learn every day a new thing is evidence that you don’t quit; that you have an internal concept of evolution and self-growth. Moreover, the process of learning can bring joy and happiness on its own, when it’s about things we like and we find meaningful because it creates feelings like content and self-fulfillment.

Making a list of happiness

There are many books and articles that explain numerous ways to cultivate happiness in our lives. The easiest and simplest thing is to write a list of things that makes you happy and remember to do one of them every day. We consider necessary and easy to make all the kind of lists; shopping lists, to-do lists, wish lists, lists of bills and duties. And, we forget to reward ourselves with small doses of happiness. We forget why we do what we do in our lives.

How many things can make us happy?

Happiness is an internal state, I agree. But, there are external things that support and strengthen this feeling. Barbara Ann Kipfer wrote a book with ‘14000 things to be happy about’. It is definitely a huge list. Some people may think that it’s unnecessary and useless, especially in difficult times and poor conditions that anyone struggles for a better life. Who cares about happiness when one has to battle with so many problems? But, in these problematic periods, inner strength and stability play a major role in the result and they demand a portion of self-satisfaction and happiness. As people say,

“If you think only sunshine brings you happiness,
then you haven’t danced in the rain.”

So, I think that contentment in life could never become extraneous. And, if we sit down and write, how many things our list would have from simple everyday things to more complex and rare? How long does our list go? Wish you all a recharging Sunday … xoxo !!! Jo_

 

Silhouettes of a family staring the lake by ioanna papanikolaou DSC_1305_1991
Flickr • ARTbyJWP

 

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2 thoughts on “Motivation • Can happiness be learned?

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