It all started last Friday on the occasion of a good dinner with 2 of my best friends in Dubai. You know this type of perfect dinner when you feel so relaxed that you can stay forever around the table enjoying good food and wine and exchanging ideas forever about love, life and dreams.
Then my friend Ale came with this question: What is happiness for you?
I answered spontaneously being healthy and having time to explore a maximum of things in my life.
He told me, did you know that there is an actual study in Harvard which is dedicated to studying the mechanism of Happiness. It started more than 75 years ago.
This study called, Grant & Glueck studies, is putting under the microscope the life of hundreds of men (and recently women) from the moment they leave the university until the end of their life. And also to be fair, it is also studying groups of people outside the Harvard nest and particularly in poor neighbourhood of Boston.
Before sharing one of the key learning of this on going study, take a look at this TED talk, where Robert Waldinger, the present Director of the Study (who also happen to be a Zen Priest…you’ve got to love Harvard!) explains in 12 brilliant minutes, the methodology and the learnings.
Happiness is not about money or fame. Happiness is all about strengthening your closest relationships. Relationship means to others and to you. This leads taking care of yourself physically, financially and emotionally.
Do good for others, do good for you and you’ll keep yourself happy and healthy, according to the study.
I could add a small something to this very serious analysis: How about what i call in french “les petits bonheurs”, the little happy things? I do believe that to build happiness, it is an addition of small daily little sources of happiness that creates eventually a complete happy life.
For example, waking up every morning in the garden to observe, with the company of Zig the Cat, how the flowers have blossomed or enjoying a good “croissant” for breakfast or again sharing a tea with a good friend…and at the same time strenghtening the relationship. Mr Waldinger would be happy!
So, i wonder this morning, what are your “petits bonheurs”? Do not hesitate to comment here under and share some inspiring ideas. xx
To illustrate this post, some pictures of my little garden as well as the beautiful stationary from Saperlipapier…and of course #zigthecat!