Can you think of a time when you were really happy? I mean REALLY HAPPY? Happy to the point where you couldn’t stop smiling? Happy to the point where you wanted to share your joy with anyone who was willing to listen?
One moment that stands out for me is January 16, 2018 — exactly three years ago today. Nestled in a secluded vineyard in Mendoza, Argentina, my wife and I got married. What made this day so special was that everything about our wedding was about the two of us. It was just Leora and I in this picturesque setting. It was an unforgettable experience with the person I love the most. There was nothing more I could ever ask for.
Now, think of a time when you struggled to be happy.
In a virtual session I hosted last year, I remember one participant shared a story about how she was finding it difficult to even feign happiness, even though she was recently promoted at work. She described her isolation as the primary factor. Living alone in a big city, the COVID-19 pandemic had prevented her from being able to see family and friends and the lack of companionship had taken a toll on her well-being. In her words, no amount of professional success could change how lonely she felt.
A lot has been written and discussed about what actually makes us happy, but nothing has resonated more with me than Dr. Laurie Santos’s course The Science of Well-Being. One of the many lessons I took from Dr. Santos is how much your experiences and interactions with others matter. I learned that a simple phone call to an elderly person not only makes them feel great, but makes you feel whole. I learned that a charitable donation makes you feel so much better than buying a new TV.
I encourage you to sign up for Dr. Santos’s course. As my wife reminded me earlier this week, ‘everyone deserves to be happy.’
And so do you.