Perhaps the most surprising and 21st century relevant factors happiness of all is the focus. Did you know that being distracted makes you happy? The study found that people's minds wander disturbing 47% of the time on average. And the result? Was greater (negative) impact on their happiness than what they do.
"If you ask people to imagine winning the lottery, they are usually talking about the things they would do - 'I will go to Italy, I would buy a boat, I was lying on the beach' - and they rarely mention that they would think. But our data suggest that the location of the body is much more important than the location of the mind, and that the former has very little influence on the latter.'s heart goes where the head takes it, and does not care much about the existence of the foot. "
- Harvard Psychologist Dr. Daniel Gilbert
My blog is about staying focused, but even I was surprised to find such a direct link between a strong focus and happiness. It makes sense though, because to focus is to live in the moment, which cut the worry, guilt, and regret the past or other problems in the future.
One more benefit focus is that it allows you to live you want to live. Skills and focus a little energy in the region is a simple formula that brings great results. The more you focus on what is important, the more alive you become the way you want, and you will be happy.
This means no more justify your smart phone addiction, USA. Yes, I called you out for texting when you are with a group B group A, and group A then SMS when you're with Group B. Or bury your face in your phone when you feel even a little uncomfortable. Committed to being the Group A when they are physically around you. I saw a group of people at Chipotle, and all three of them staring at their phones. They are physically present, but mentally they are not present.
Important lesson: Learn to control your desires (and notice the phone) or they will control your life and steal your happiness. True happiness is not a slave to a piece of technology - it's deciding what is most important at this time and focus all your energy on it. Disorder is often a failure to make this decision.
Now, see if you can use these tips to beat Matthieu Ricard for the title of the happiest person alive. Even if you get second place, you'll still be quite happy. :-)