Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Complexity of Simplicity

Have you ever heard the phrase, "the silence was deafening?"

I am beginning to see that it is the same with the virtue of simple, that it's complex!

I watched a great documentary tonight... Happy!  Directed by Roko Belic, this award-winning film from 2011 combines global personal stories to cutting-edge research on the science of happiness.  It included people living in the bayous of Louisiana, a Kalkota slum in India, a community in Taiwan.  While I do not espouse all presented in this film 100%, it had great points.

The take home points:

  • If 50% of our happiness baseline is determined by genetics, and only 10% by individual circumstances, we have 40% of our happiness which we control by intentional actions and choices that will increase our happiness, including our thoughts and behaviors.
  • All of us are victims of the hedonic treadmill -- essentially no matter how much "stuff" I acquire that makes me happy, I will naturally adapt to that and go back to my happiness baseline...resulting in wanting more "stuff" to get to that higher level of happy.  [Uh...yeah...I believe that also includes camera equipment...]A lot of effort for a trip to nowhere. 
  • We can all participate in activities that enhance our happiness such as:  finding meaning, practicing compassion, connecting with others, participating in the discipline of grateful living, physical activity.

Seems so simple...that it is complex!

If we would all live more simply, we would be so much happier.

What makes you happy?  And how are you going to practice over the Holiday weekend?  I definitely will be...let's compare notes!

(By the way, you can see Happy on Netflix or view online for $2.99 at the link above...)

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