Is it Real Happiness, or Static Happiness?

The Surprising Source of Finding More Happiness

Robert Holden, Ph.D
Anna Pasternak, author and journalist, attended the recent Real More workshop held over two days in central London. She has written a personal account of her experience that was published in the Daily Mail on August 24th. Her article is entitled “More Please: More money, more security, more certainty… would it really make us any happier?” Anna’s trademark style is hugely personal, insightful, and witty. Whatever she writes about she always gets to the heart of the matter. Her article is a great read.

Have you heard of the term “static happiness?”

Ever since happiness researchers have measured happiness and well-being levels they have noticed an interesting phenomenon: in spite of the fact that we have more of everything we say we want, we are not any happier. For example, in the US, when people were asked in 1940 to score their happiness, the average answer was 7.5 out of 10. Most recently, the average answer is 7.2 out of 10. There are similar scores for the UK, Japan, Australia and other countries.

Try this Happiness Measurement Exercise

  1. Take a moment to score how happy you were, on average, from 0 to 10, when you were 7 years old. For example, 7.5 out of 10.
  2. Next, score how happy you were when you were 16 years old,
  3. …21 years old
  4. …5 years ago
  5. …last year
  6. …and today.

What do your scores tell you about your relationship to happiness? Are you happier today than before? Are you suffering from “static happiness?”

And what about the future? How happy do you think you will be in one year’s time? And in five year’s time?

What is the actual thing that would help you to be happier—starting from now?

Hint: think not just about “getting” and “having” and “attracting” and “receiving”; but also about “being” and “giving” and “noticing” and “appreciating.” Give this important question some of your best attention. You have the answer within you right now. As Anna Pasternak highlights in her article: the key to happiness isn’t more stuff; it’s more clarity.

The Real More workshop received rave reviews, and we will definitely be running it again next year. Dates will be announced on our events page.