Clarifying What Really Makes “You” Happy

The recent research in the science of happiness is intriguing. And it confirms what we were learning in our work in Crete – that true happiness doesn’t just come from those wild moments of high excitement but rather from the slower steady pace of a daily life engaged in a higher purpose that has real meaning to you. And that “meaningful purpose” is unique for each person.

In his recent book, Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh writes about the power of happiness in both creating successful businesses and successful personal lives. He describes three types of happiness:

  • Pleasure – the “high” of doing something
  • Passion – being in the “flow” with peak performance & peak engagement
  • Purpose – being part of something bigger & with personal meaning

The research shows us that all three kinds of happiness are good, especially woven together in our daily lives. But the research also helps us remember that happiness drawn from Pleasure dissipates very quickly, happiness from Passion lasts a bit longer but is still temporary and the happiness from Purpose is the longest lasting and most sustainable. So what really makes you happy?

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