You all might have seen the movie Inception. ?
As the movie portrays; an idea is what you require to start something unique, Sometimes these ideas come from someone you don’t expect.
It was 9 pm in the night, when someone came in my room and said “Sir! I need a favor!” I didn’t pay attention to him. He repeated his words, “Sir, are you listening? I need a favor!” My roomie shook me up and said that he was saying something. And I said “To me???” he said “Yes Sir!”
I turned towards him and asked “What kind of favor?” He said that he was doing a survey for a Communication Skills project, so he wanted me to fill up a questionnaire. The topic of the survey caught my eye “Analysis of Happiness”. I was really surprised and wondered why couldn’t I think of such a topic when I was in the first year.
I finally got a topic to write on. I decided to write an article which could answer the questions like “What is the definition of happiness for you? What are the sources of happiness for you? What is your state of mind when you’re happy?”
Before answering these questions on my own, I thought of asking these questions to my friends and family. I called them up and asked “What would bring them happiness?” Their first reaction was almost similar “It’s quite simple” and then they came up with diverse answers like getting a dream job, finding true love, losing weight. My mother said “You’ve not been home for the past two months, one glimpse of you will make me happy.”
One of my geeky friends said “An Ipad will make him happy” and so on.
I started probing myself and tried to analyze the answers. The inferences I drew were quite interesting; I found that the sources of happiness were different during different phases of life.
When I applied this theory on myself, I found it to be correct. For me my happiness varied from getting good grades when to getting into a good college and getting a good job. All this made me think and I realised that we define happiness by trying to achieve something that is missing at some point of time or phase of one’s life.
I started digging deep to find what would bring happiness for an entire lifetime.
Is there a way to quantify it?
To my surprise I found that there is a term called Happiness Economics, which is the quantitative study of happiness, wellbeing, quality of life, life satisfaction and related concepts, combining economics with other fields like psychology and sociology.
Earlier, scientists claimed that we have a biological set point in our happiness. The set point refers to your genetic material, and your personality is the preset for experiencing happiness. It can go to only a specific level and the only way to change that is by changing your internal setting. So this would mean, I would go to doctor and tell him or her that I need gene therapy for a better happiness experience. Really?!!
However, a higher level of understanding led the scientists to find that this genetic set point is highly influenced by many external factors.
Finally, on the basis of research, Martin Seligman, founder of positive psychology came up with something called the “Happiness Equation”
H = S + C + V
He said that the level of happiness (H) that you experience is determined by your biological set point (S) or genetic material plus the conditions of your life (C) plus the voluntary activities (V) that you perform.
Conditions are the facts about your life that you cannot change (sex, physical disability, and age) as well as the things that you own or possess like wealth. These are the constant things which you cannot change atleast for a certain period of a time.
V stands for the voluntary activities which on the other hand are the things that you choose to do like exercise, learning a new skill, your hobbies. This provides a greater flexibility to the equation as well as to your life.
Only conclusion that can be made out of all this is that, there is never a single source of happiness, no matter how career oriented you are, or how spiritual you are.
For every one, there is a one’s own happiness equation that we can’t compare with anyone else Happiness is not a process, it’s a journey!!!
So finally, I ask you all to define your own Happiness equation.