LUSH VALLEY


Happiness Think Tank Notes by kristinmarting
May 17, 2010, 8:47 pm
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How do we define happiness objectively? (pt. 4)

Is happiness physical? emotional? spiritual? other? 

What is the baseline? is it culturally or experientially defined? 

Physical vs. in the mind? Is it different in different cultures? “in most places in South America, people tend to be happy. In America, people aren’t happy”

Discontent = a survival trait

Is happiness just contentment? Is that enough? 

Happiness is pleasures of the flesh – fleeting by nature: food, music, sex, luxury, abandon, art, beauty, nature, drugs

Can’t sustain the endorphin state of happiness, physiology of the body. Happiness is a physical condition.

Boredom is the enemy of happiness

Key discovery toward enlightenment is that happiness is in you. Happiness is not outside of you. Wizard of Oz – happiness is in your own backyard.

Ignorance is bliss? 

Puritan framework — things associated with happiness (pleasures of the flesh) are necessarily bad. Do we want to be happy? 

What was the founders’ idea of the “pursuit of happiness”? Freedom from kings? to practice puritanical ideals? freedom to make money? to have equal standing with others so you have opportunity? 

New York was founded on money, not religion. Philadelphia was founded on religious freedom.

Pursuit of happiness is not a guarantee of happiness — the action to pursue.

Happiness = pure emotion

Too much choice makes happiness difficult. Are we all different or all the same? 

What provokes happiness? An action? Does smiling make you happy, or does happiness make you smile? 

Retail experiences — Apple store, very successful believable display of happy employees. Not true at Disney. What’s the difference? 

What does success have to do with happiness? In America, it can be the only way we define happiness. Environment affects happiness. 

Happiness is about context. 

Rising up the ladder isn’t automatic. Because of WWII, the US enjoyed a long period of rising up. 

story of the friend who was “living the life” — career, family — but wasn’t actually happy. Didn’t want to talk about it anymore. 

Did people not question whether they were happy at any point?

How much are you allowed to have? Tempered success — where do you feel happy? Living up to your own expectations. Where do expectations come from? Internal or external? 

Image of happiness changes in your mind over time.

Everyone in New York has things they want that they can’t have.

“If you took the products out of the store, people wouldn’t desire them” — not true in Russia 1988, but the people knew of the products’ existance. If you can’t have it, you want it more. 

America is a service society as opposed to a producing society. 

Producers have to gauge our audience or buyer — create the product or service to deliver happiness.

The definition is bound to change — change is the only constant. 

Love vs. being in love, can’t be sustained, like happiness.

What’s between happiness and unhappiness? Is happiness being “not unhappy”?

If you question it constantly, can you be happy? 

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