Thursday, June 02, 2011

Instant Vindication?

Interesting. The day after I change the philosophy of posting on my blog, things show up to help reflect why I'm making the change. The blog isn't about or for anyone except myself. It's an online diary, designed primarily for self reflection.

On that theme, I came across a wonderful TED Talks by Stefan Sagmiester called 7 rules for making more happiness. In it, he describes some of the things that he found about happiness, and I'll outline them here:

Happiness does not correlate with:
  • Gender
  • Geographic location
  • Income (above a certain subsistence level)
  • Race
  • Physical Appearance
  • Overall health (as long as problems are manageable) 
However, happiness does correlate with:
  • Personality and sociability 
  • Marital status
Specifically, Sagmeister points out that knowledge does not create happiness, but being in a community and engaged with others, does make a difference. People who are involved in charity and have a circle of good friends are happier than people who are more individualistic and detached.

For me, this is particularly interesting because I've spent so much of my life in the pursuit of knowledge, and I've reached the point where I understand that knowledge can actually be an impediment to happiness.  Not that ignorance is bliss, but that fixating on ideas or facts, and ignoring people and feelings, will lead to unhappiness.

Another interesting point in the talk is the element of self reflection, and the keeping of a diary or journal. This is precisely the purpose of what I'm doing here.  This is also about a greater sense of gratitude for thing people and things around me. I want to express this in a more tangible way, rather than the brief nod I've given things in the past.

If you're interested, here's the TED video.

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