Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Caveat

There is only one caveat in the world of the yardstick of happiness - no true authentic happiness can come at the expense of the world and those in it.

We are truly the top of the feeding chain - and with that comes some responsibility not to destroy the feeding chain.

Similarly - we are capable of being as authentic and enlightened among those around us or as reactive and unenlightened as we choose - here also we have a responsibility.

Giving and Taking in equal but balanced measure of the world and of those around us is the essence of contributing harmoniously.

Taking advantage of others or misusing the world around us will prevent us from finding our greatest happiness.

The 6th measurement of the happiness yardstick

The journey is long - in fact it takes a life time. We live this lifetime by being present in the now according to some authors - or at least we should be. I tend to agree with this - being clear that we belong in this time, at this moment, with this purpose and under these circumstances no matter what the ups and downs we may experience - this is part of understanding and having a sense of belonging - the 6th element.

For those who remember it - the movie "It's a Wonderful Life" was really all about this sense of belonging or lack thereof. If you never feel as if you belong, it becomes incredibly difficult to find satisfaction in the life you live. At the end of the day, there must be some sense of satisfaction for appreciation of the happiness we have to occur.

Number 5 - Happiness's Motivation & Drive

Don't underestimate those To Do lists. Each little accomplishment is no small contributor to your daily happiness. Whether a goal is large or small - the act of progress builds a powerful foundation for the 5th increment of happiness.

It is the breath that we take every morning, the stretch we take during the middle of the day, the hearty laughter we share with a friend late into the evening.

These are the measures of our progress and the source and continued power behind our happiness motivation.

4th Measure of Happiness

Short and to the point - the 4th measure of Happiness is Emotional Love. Don't doubt it for a second. There are far and away millions of people who are lost in the face of a lack of emotional love in their lives. But is it all about a intimate relationship with a significant other of a complimentary sex?


Emotional love is every small act, large act, amazing act and ordinary act where we show others that we care for them, about them, and with them.

Look closely inside yourself and you'll know who the people are in your life who give you emotional love conditionally vs. unconditionally - reservedly vs. unreservedly. It is terribly important though to recognize that the love of friends, family, coworkers and others - are very important balances against the rawness of intimate emotional love.

It is important to nurture all sorts of emotional love to balance and support happiness. :)

3rd Increment on the Yardstick

So, it's been a few months and the question is - has anything changed? Has the yardstick of happiness deviated even one iota - and I am here to tell you - after over a decade - the stick stands as is, with little or not alteration. Is there some overlap with Maslow? Sure - but need and happiness remain different.

So, what's the third bit? It's all about physical love - I mean - truthfully emotional is probably the next but if you were really to look at this yardstick you'd realize it's more of a hula hoop ;) continue...

Physical love - does this mean sex? It's a big womping valuable bit, but it's not the key. Physical love goes well beyond sex - to all sorts of physical intimacy from a hug to a kiss to a handshake to a clap on the back.

Remember - just 'cause you aren't having sex, doesn't mean you aren't getting physical love. In fact - in some cases, people may get a whole lot more happiness out of a huge hug well composed than out of a whole lot of sex. Consider it...not saying not to go for broke and go for the "O" but...think about it.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

2nd increment on the yardstick

What comes next after health? Security! Security means a lot of things - having a roof over your head, having a place to sleep, having something to sleep in (clothes, pjs, etc), having the money to afford all this, knowing that the place you sleep is not subject to warfare (between nationstates, terrorists or gangs), etc.

To put it another way, you gotta have a place to call home and the means to ensure that you can keep your home - "yours". It's not a cage, it's a place of comfort. This applies though to your job as well unless you have a money tree (trust fund, other source of personal wealth that won't go away). Knowing that your job is yours and that you are in a position to keep it - this is a big source of security. You may be at the end of your rope with your friends, your family, your coworkers, etc - but as long as your job, your home and your personal safety are doing alright - you can get by. This by no means however is intended to imply that huge amounts of happiness immediately follow on the heals of being "secure". It just forms part of the base that enables you to branch out and reach further toward the happiness that all of us would like to reach.

No 2 - Security...

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The foundation of the Happiness Yardstick

Alright - so let's get down to it - what is element #1 of the happiness yardstick - you've all scene it before actually buried in Maslow's pyramid of need - note the word need - not happiness - but in any case - what's element #1? Health.

So Health is alot of things - not just the fact that you are physically healthy, it also include emotional health, mental health and for those of you with more of a spiritual bent - spiritual health. To get there with your Health Happiness, if you will, you have to focus on the care and feeding. So break this down right? I'm saying that you have to feed your body food, you have to feed you mind food, you have to feed your emotional being food and you have to feed your spiritual being such as it is - food. But - it doesn't stop there, you also have to care for each of these same entities. Exercise is the heart and soul of the care effort - doing more to exercise you mind will make it happier and healthier. Doing more to exercise your body will make it happier and healthier. Doing more to exercise your emotions will make them healthier and happier and finally doing more to exercise your spirit will make it healthier and happier.

Let's be careful though - the flip side of care is to know when to stop. Moderation is key with feeding and exercise. Addictive, obsessive types of efforts on any of these are just as likely to cause a break down in health and happiness rather than promoting it.

So #1 on the yardstick - Health.

Stay tuned for more to come...