You see more and more people are talking about happiness. It’s a good sign. The more people talk, the more insights they develop.
Here’s what I learned about happiness.
The words suggest that happiness and unhappiness are two endpoints of the same scale. But they are not endpoints of a single continuum.
The ancient science of happiness had a more simplistic view. It said we become more and more happy as we become less and less miserable. So the society focused on making you less miserable (easing your sufferings) by building better healthcare, efficient transportation, maximizing pleasures, freedom, and choices. To afford all these what do you need? More money.
You work hard, you make your way to the top. Then you realize, surely you are less miserable, but you are not any happier!
The science of happiness got puzzled. It started suggesting that we understood happiness all wrong. When you are less miserable you are just less miserable and happiness is a different scale. The modern science of happiness was born. It discovered that the things that make people happy are not measured by modern societies. Such as meaningful connection, being completely absorbed into doing things you love make you happy, but what modern society values connection and passion?
Despite so much progress and personal accomplishment, why are we becoming less and less happy?
In the process of making us less miserable, modern societies took away our happiness.