9/21/16 - Happiness in the Wake of Progress
Happiness is that state of being that we’re all after. We prefer it, of course, over the alternative. It’s sold to us with bait and switch marketing. It’s even a paramount topic of conversation to evaluate our lives.
When concerning work we’ll hear: “Congratulations on the new job, are you happy?”
If we’ve starting dating someone new, they’ll say: “Oh, my gosh. Yay! Are you happy?”
When you get unexpected news, the question will be: “That’s so exciting. How happy are you?”
Interesting isn’t it? What is happiness, though? This article likely won’t definitively answer a question that we’re all endlessly searching for, but by some definitions I think we can argue that happiness largely based on progress.
Take, for example, suffering, which in many ways is the opposite of happiness. Studies often show that disease, even chronic disease, and pain only make us less happy if our status isn’t improving. Subjects with a life threatening disease, for example, will often report an initial dip in happiness upon learning of their condition. They often report, however, levels of happiness return to their normal state as long as they don’t stay the same or get worse. In other words, we can register substantial pain and suffering and still be happy. It isn’t, then, the absence of pain, suffering, or disease that’s required to be happy, but an element of progress.
To answer the hypothetical questions above, one might agree that you’d answer “Yes” if the scenario in question is an element of progress. If the new job is progress form your last job, you’ll likely report that you’re happy. Life’s pursuit of happiness is often as much about improvement as it is avoiding negativity. In fact, we can find happiness and endure plenty of suffering at the same time. Many would argue that “life is suffering,” but most would also agree that life isn’t unavoidable dread, either.
Think about where happiness shows up for you and you’ll likely find it’s associtated with an advancement of your being. Even examples that seem static, like a cup of coffee on the porch that brings you happiness, is likely stemming from the idea that this state of being is an improvement compared to stressful states off the porch without the coffee.
Oddly, what better direct line to some happiness than time spent in the gym. We’re improvement machines here and the wake of improvement is full of happiness.
Find 1 RM Clean and Jerk
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