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Sadly, many people are depressed and not satisfied with their lives. Given that a significant number of people are experiencing discontent with their lives; does this finding suggest that we are unsure of what makes us happy?  

Researcher Dr. Chistopher Hsee is exploring the idea that individuals struggle with predicting what makes them happy. He further suggests that humans are not built to be happy. Rather we are built to survive. As modern society has advanced, survival is no longer a major concern. Consequently, an existential concern of pursuing happiness becomes more important. Various factors were identified and studied to determine what makes people happy. Money does factor into well-being, however it does not produce happiness. However, what people do with their free time does impact our sense of satisfaction.  

Money is critical in keeping us safe, warm and fed. Once those basic survival needs are meet, money no longer plays a large role in happiness. However, if we are spending our leisure time in a way that is congruent to our values, we experience joy.  

A simple question is, “Are you doing the things you would like to be doing?” To illustrate this point take the following example. Individuals that receive a raise are temporarily content with their raise because they do not use the raise to engage in the activities that they would like to. Instead, they focus their energy on the next raise, rather than use their current raise to pursue what makes them happy.  

The questions remain: How can you take advantage of your free time or make time to engage in things that make you happy? What are you willing or unwilling to compromise? Your actions speak volumes of what is a priority in your life. Does your priority list match your values list? If not, how can you expect to be happy? What adjustments are you willing to make to spend your free time enjoying your life?  

For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at [Link Removed] On our website you will find quizzes that assess your level of wellness.

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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      UK Girl wrote Aug 15, 2009
    • I do like what I'm doing but I'm a person who is always looking to improve and learn more – even if it's taking salsa lessons.... I think sometimes when I see unhappy people it's because they have got static in thier life – that's just my view

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