Advice

These 3 questions will predict your happiness

In a world where the quest for happiness has never been greater, we often get blinded by the “quick fixes” to make us happy. Whether that’s the excitement brought on by playing free online slots to kickstart that dopamine, buying a fresh pair of sneakers only to feel miserable 30 minutes later, or the endless Instagram scrolling and watching funny cat videos for an instant laughter. 

But did you know that by asking yourself 3 simple yet impactful questions, you can determine the level of happiness of anyone you encounter in your life – including yourself? At least that’s what Mark Manson, a best-selling American author and an expert on self-development, claims. If you feel a little lost in life and lack meaning or happiness, try writing down answers to these questions and see what can be improved in each area. Chances are once you improve these, your happiness will increase as well!

1. How well am I treating my body and why?

If you’re wondering about your health and how it affects your happiness, let’s shift the conversation away from the typical gym talk and focus on how you’re treating yourself. Looking into the many studies done on the topic of happiness and well-being, it’s remarkable to see how even minor adjustments such as a bit of exercise, a slight dietary modification, or improved sleep patterns can lead to significant enhancements in individuals’ mental well-being. 

Research shows that even small changes in your physical activity, nutrition, or sleep can have a huge impact on your well-being. For instance, just 30 minutes of daily exercise, even a simple walk around the block, can be as effective as medication for depression. How amazing is that? And while we know that getting fit and eating healthy is a prerequisite of having abs and a toned body, the importance of taking care of your body extends way beyond the physical: exercise can literally make you happy!

Making simple changes like reducing your alcohol consumption, creating a consistent sleep routine, or adopting a regular exercise plan can have significant benefits for both your physical and emotional well-being. You don’t have to strive for a perfect fitness model physique to reap these rewards either: using the 80/20 rule, just focus on the initial 20% effort that will yield 80% of the desired results.

Be ready for another hard truth: transforming your habits will most certainly shed light on the true nature of your friendships and social connections. During this journey, you may uncover several toxic relationships built solely on shared drinking habits rather than genuine connection. Know that it’s okay to let these kinds of people go – losing them will be the best thing that’s ever happened to you.

2. Who am I spending my time with and why?

Let’s talk about toxic relationships. They don’t just affect your personal life; they distort your whole worldview. Take a moment to assess those closest to you: if you stumbled, would they catch you or let you fall? Would they support or make fun of you? Anyone who wouldn’t stand by you in such moments needs reconsideration in your life. Whether it’s creating distance or cutting ties altogether, prioritizing your mental and emotional well-being is crucial for your happiness.

That being said, it’s equally as important not to take supportive relationships for granted. Especially among younger generations, there’s often an assumption that if one connection fades, another will readily replace it. However, as we mature, we come to realize that forming deep, meaningful connections becomes increasingly challenging. Finding someone with whom you truly connect, share values, and mutually support one another is a rarity that deserves appreciation.

Consider the groundbreaking Harvard Study: spanning over eight decades, it’s a treasure trove of insights into human behavior and happiness. In the 1990s, George Vaillant, the study’s original architect, distilled its findings after 60 years into a single word: love. Simply put, the individuals who fostered solid, nurturing relationships throughout their lives tended to lead happier, more productive, and longer lives. They faced fewer addictions, encountered fewer problems, and even had fewer run-ins with the law. Not money, not fancy cars or houses, but solid relationships filled with love and mutual respect. That’s what you should strive for to improve your overall happiness.

3. What have you been working on and why?

Every job has its share of challenges, and no matter what your job is, there are days that simply feel draining. However, the real question we should be asking is: What exactly are we working on, and why? Calvin Newport, the author of “So Good They Can’t Ignore You,” argues that the key isn’t to do what brings you passion but to focus on what you’re good at and become an expert in it. As you hone your skills, a remarkable thing happens — you start to fall in love with what you do. Why? Because nothing beats the feeling of confidence and competence. When your work is appreciated and admired, you can’t help but be drawn to it.

Newport’s philosophy nudges us to shift focus from chasing passions to nurturing talents. It’s about asking ourselves: What am I naturally good at? What can I become proficient in? What sets me apart? Remember, every job holds significance and meaning in its own right: otherwise you wouldn’t be paid for doing it. So, if you feel like you’re struggling to figure out your “why”, or you’re looking to reconsider your career choices, start with something practical, strive to become exceptional at it, and watch the passion and fulfilment creep their way into your life.

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