Read the full transcript below:
The Happiness Equation is actually a simple survival mechanism that our brains use all the time to compare events to expectations to make sure that we’re safe, we’re in the safe zone.
The Happiness Equation is: your happiness is equal to or greater than the difference between the events of your life and your expectations of how life should behave.
So, a simple example of the Happiness Equation. I’m here in London, I expect it to rain. If it rains I wouldn’t feel disappointed, if it doesn’t I would feel happy because the event beats my expectations.
The opposite is also true. If I so badly wanted the weekend to be sunshine because I can go out and spend time in the outdoors with my friends, and it rains I would be disappointed. The rain on its own is not capable of making me happy or unhappy, it’s rain as compared to my expectation of how the day will be that is making me happy or unhappy.
Should we actually look at the mathematics of this equation and say: “one easy way to go through life is to have low expectations?”
Yes, Unfortunately it’s true. The mathematics of the happiness equation and our actual experience in life proves that if you have low expectations, you’re mostly going to be happy if you don’t expect life to give you much. Whatever life will give you it will make you happy, right?
One of my favourite concepts of “Solve for Happy” comes to the surface. That concept is a concept I call “committed acceptance”. “Committed acceptance” is not only to accept the harshness of life, but to commit after you accept. And what that means is, first you say “ok, something happened I cannot do anything about it, but I’m going to try to do my best to make tomorrow a little better than today, and after tomorrow a little better than tomorrow.”
That committed acceptance may not fix the real issue quickly, but it will definitely make your life continue to be better and better. And in the process – because you’re engaged in action, and in thinking, and in analysis, and in problem-solving, you will not feel the unhappiness as a result.
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