“If you take a look around you, the conventional approach to happiness seems to be mostly focused on maximizing positive feelings,” remarks Galindo. “This is why so many people pursue happiness. They are chasing after things and experiences that give them a quick emotional boost. But like all emotional extremes, the feeling often quickly fades leaving us longing for more and bigger experiences.”
To discourage the pursuit of happiness in favor of the choice of happiness, the De Anza College and John F. Kennedy University professor Galindo recommends we practice making the following three choices:
1. Choose to be more playful with your most mundane tasks in order to experience the sense of gratification that comes from the state of mind known as Flow.
2. Choose to take small emotional risks and participate in relatively challenging activities (start a conversation with a stranger, learn a new skill, take on a pet or a plant), where failure is a real possibility, in order to feel as if your actions actually matter.
3. Choose to focus on goals that lead to authentic happiness (such as doing things for others, cultivating strong social bonds, participating in a lifelong passion), rather than goals that are conditioned into us by popular culture.
“Reading a good book and working on your garden may not give you the emotional high you’d get from buying a new pair of shoes,” says Galindo, “but your experience of gratification and meaning from these activities can have a longer lasting effect on your experience of a happy life.”
In celebration of Happiness Happens Day, Galindo will be discussing these and several other key insights from his college happiness course during a free one hour lecture entitled “Authentic Happiness in Seven Emails: a practical talk on the psychology of happiness, satisfaction, and a meaningful life” at the Gilroy Library (350 W 6th St. Gilroy, CA 95020) on August 9th, beginning at 1pm.
For more information on the free talk visit www.JavyGalindo.com/
Javy Wong Galindo, M.A., M.Eng., is a college professor of philosophy, humanities, and psychology in Northern California. He has been a popular instructor at Heald College, John F. Kennedy University, and De Anza College. He is the author of the newly released book "Authentic Happiness in Seven Emails: a philosopher's simple guide to the psychology of joy, satisfaction, and a meaningful life." To schedule an interview with Javy or to request a review copy of his latest book, please contact publicist Allan Guerra at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information can be found at www.JavyGalindo.com.