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On being happy

Yale recently made publicly available its most popular course on happiness. It’s called The Science of Well-Being and I highly recommend investing some time into it.

My two biggest takeaways are: gratitude, and comparison.

Gratitude: people get used to EVERYTHING. This concept is especially highlighted in Man’s Search for Meaning. Rich, poor, traumatized, injured, whatever it is, you’ll get used to it. So, if everyone is pretty much at the same baseline in terms of being used to their present situation, what’s the secret to being happy? Practicing gratitude.

Comparison: it’s the root of all unhappiness. But we still feel the urge to compare what we have (or don’t) to others. So, how do you stop it? Create constraints in your life. Deprive yourself of some luxuries for a time. This will help you focus on investing in experiences over things. It will help you realize that no two situations are the same.