Usually people were happier in the past

What makes people happy?

Have you ever wondered what you need to be really happy? What would have to happen to make your happiness perfect? Or do you consider happiness to be pure coincidence that is only given to a select few? This article describes ways and detours to the question "What makes people happy?"

The happiness and the desires

If you ask a person what makes them happy, you will often get an answer in the form of a healthy family, secure work or material prosperity, “being able to afford this and that”.

Or one dreams of a prize in kind or money, for some it is a journey or a career or a growing reputation and higher status with others. The list could go on and on, but that should suffice for illustration.

Most of the examples focus on pleasant things, on the good side
of our civilization, be it luxurious things or status and recognition.
Ask yourself: what would I answer? Take the time to think about it
and find an answer. After all, it's about you - the most important person
in your life.

A certain standard of living and reputation are of course important; there are
probably no one who wants to do without it completely. When there is no doubt
that they make life more pleasant, it is worth asking how exactly
they make you happy.

Maybe change
yes our view of things and we conclude that they are
Are placeholders for that elusive something 'happiness'
- and in their place there could also be something completely different, which we call
Is much closer to people. Even the old truism “Money alone
does not make you happy “expresses that happiness does not
is in the nature of money. Then where is it? It's worth investigating.

Our culture has its own values ​​and ideas about what
is important to individuals, developed and handed down. Draw other eras
are distinguished by other values. So does our society also have values? Yes? Well,
only - what about the often denounced 'decline in values'? I
consider the term changing values ​​to be more appropriate; which are propagated today
Anyone can see values ​​on television or other media.

Udo Lindenberg in
the anti-drug campaign or Boris Becker in the new Mercedes as well as that
'Lindenstrasse' or the scandals of the 'Bild' newspaper
but represent values, convey something with which we should identify. What no one
see, buy, want to have, will be discontinued. According to common sense are more material
Prosperity, security and stronger family ties
and tradition particularly important.

Concepts of antiquity

Aristotle writes in the 'Nicomachean Ethics': “Any art
and every doctrine, likewise every act and every resolution, shines
to strive for a good, which is why the good has aptly been called that to which everything strives. The goal of healing is health, that of shipbuilding is the ship, that of strategy is victory, that of economic art is wealth. "

Each area has its own goals, all of which are aimed at something below
are important. But there is a goal, a good one, that is shared by all people
even sake is desired, for it is the highest end, the highest
Well. Most likely agree on the name: "Bliss."
All other goals, be it honor, lust, intellect, or any other virtue, strive
we at, because - or, only then - when we hope that we will
get happier too.

In other words - everyone strives for the goal that gives him happiness
brings closest. One becomes happiest when one does what for
you stand with all facets of your personality, with your whole being.
We are not supposed to do any arbitrary, required or expected task
and in some way 'deal with it'. We should
strive for what is most important to us.

Because the higher a goal is, the closer it is to the last one
Goal: happiness. What the "bliss" should be, about it
One falls apart, and there cannot be one answer that applies to all.
The Oracle of Delphi "Know Thyself" is now getting one
very practical meaning, because as we can see, self-knowledge is a necessary one
Step to be happy.

Knowing yourself more deeply and comprehensively includes seeing more clearly
what's really important in your own life. What you really want. Now it is
It is difficult for us to find out because we are so complex beings
are. We are more than we know of ourselves (and yet we always know each other
better than anyone). In addition, there are no manuals for humans
as for any technical device.

The other difficulty lies in the fact that each individual is settled in
Is interrelated with others who teach him something, set an example, challenge ...
- and what of what I do comes from me and what from others? Where am I
myself and where is a hodgepodge of others? The bliss that
what the individual strives for is not just a needle in a haystack - it seems
it - but the haystack is hidden in a house in an unknown
City in any country. Have fun searching!

Recognize yourself

To recognize oneself means to find out more about oneself and ideas,
which one has only adopted, but with which one identifies less,
detect. These two focal points can of course never be completely practically
separate clearly, because the transitions are fluid. Let's look at
once the word, self-knowledge. It means to recognize yourself, that is, about
to gain knowledge. Knowledge is the opposite of belief.

Where we know, we no longer believe, but are sure. Knowledge
thus means not to be deceived about oneself, to be disappointed.
Getting to know each other better and understanding each other better is like a puzzle
the different parts of a person together. Happiness sets this oneness
ahead of yourself. The stronger and more complete this is, the more
one is happier. What is this being one with oneself?
more accurate?

Usually it is said that one is' one with oneself
feels'. That this emotional part is an important one
Role should be clear. After all, it's about luck
and who can even imagine happiness without strong positive feelings,
let alone experience it? But is being one just a feeling?

The building blocks of happiness

Happyologie examined a very striking example: the mountaineer who in
hangs a few hundred meters high in a rock wall. He prepared for a long time
and intensely for this one ascent that demands everything from him.

He knows,
that he needs all his knowledge, skills and abilities now that
The smallest mistake can be the end of it. He has nothing in mind but his goal
- and at this moment he has only one goal - to reach the top. He merges
with this goal and with its surroundings is completely one-point.

This phenomenon is very significant. It was found in extreme athletes (e.g. free climbers,
White water runners), artists, martial artists, yogis and scientists.

As different as the areas - happiness is always experienced all the more perfectly,
the more important the goal is and the more single-point it is strived for.

So the simple, yet so difficult to implement rule is: To be happy
To be, you need to be clear about your goals and for them
Life. If you want to clarify goals and face possible difficulties,
needs the ability to act in a goal-oriented manner.

When a resident of the Sahara asks an Eskimo, "What is snow?"
since he has never seen any himself, the other can try to explain:

"Uh, snow is white, often powdery and cold".
"White and often powdery ... so white sand."
"No, looser, they are water crystals ..."
“I've seen ice cubes in a glass of lemonade before, you mean
you like that, only in white? "
“No, it has nothing to do with ice cream. Snow is softer. When you say 'powdery'
you're thinking of sand ... that doesn't apply either. Snow is often more likely
firm and sticky when you touch it. "
“Oh, you're talking about wet sand! ... Do you really have that much of it?
It has to rain all the time. "
"It never rains, it just snows."
"Then comes the wet sand ...?"
“It is not one! It's water, well, not either ... it's snow. "

“Look, I can drive on snow with my sled, but not
on sand ... "
"Well, the sand here isn't even wet." ...

Even if I were to describe my experiences as precisely as possible,
My experiences remain and everyone else becomes, always and necessarily, something
experience different. I can give tips and outline the general direction
- the rest is up to you, this is your chance. In our example from
It is easy for the mountaineer to understand: when he is at home
would have stayed and only his friend who was upstairs tell him about it
if he could get the joy he felt because he was up there too,
not experience.

We have the ideas of happiness that are widespread today with those of the
Compared antiquity. Bliss, said Aristotle, is the highest
Goal of every human being. The higher a goal is to us, the closer we come
we to happiness by striving for it. The more we do it
are, the more we are one with ourselves. When we get to know ourselves better,
we also recognize more clearly which goals are most important to us personally
are. This is tied to their own experiences, which everyone can only make themselves.

Let us look again at the exemplary situation of the climber.
He absolutely wants to get to the summit and merges with this goal, is perfect
single point. In this moment he is one with himself, with his actions and
its surroundings. So being one is not just a feeling, it closes
his thoughts and actions. Exactly this unity of goal, to act, to be precise
to achieve this one, to concentrate mentally on the doing and that
strong sense of joy lead to flow; because nothing else is this
Being one with yourself.

Thinking, feeling and acting strive towards this
Aim; they have to have some agreement to do that
To be able to strive for a goal. And, on the other hand, they are influenced by this:
The closer you get to a goal, the easier it becomes to do everything important
rethinking, the more attracted you are and the easier it is
it falls to you to keep going.

The art of bliss

Happiness is not just a feeling. On the other hand, it is necessary
also a feeling or connected with a feeling. Happiness is not
intellectual concept. The specific feeling of happiness, of happy
be is flow. Flow means something like river or flow and
means the (psychological) state of people in moments, if everything
it matters (how you perceive yourself as an individual, what you think, feel
and do), is harmoniously ordered and they do something for the sake of the thing itself.
Then they are completely absorbed in this activity.

So happiness requires you to do something for it. It's up to that
Tied to striving for a goal. You also come the other way around for happiness
on the track: every time you have been or are happy in your life,
have you achieved something that is important to you. If you have these situations
rethink, learn more about what makes you happy.
Put the article aside for a moment. Take
take a few minutes and ask yourself:

  • How am I happy?
  • How do I get happier?

Now it can go on. Happiness has been portrayed as something
what you have to do something for. Happiness is the ultimate goal of every person
- and it can only be as long as one has not yet achieved it (otherwise
it is no longer a goal), or when it is achieved and definitely maintained
want. As I said, it wasn't claimed to be any goal
but to be happy is the ultimate goal.

Happiness and addiction

Obviously, this idea hardly coincides with what is common
is understood by happiness. The media, the advertising, and even the government
suggest to us - if at all, which is rare, that it is about - a whole
different idea of ​​happiness. We can't live like the Hollywood heroes
but somehow it speaks to us.

Whether the clever housewife with her new Sunil
is happier than the guy who just signed his home loan and savings contract on the deadline
concludes - hard to say, but they often guide our consumer behavior. If
whether or not we have elected the government, their concerns about the business location
Germany are not made out of thin air.

These press in very different areas and only rarely directly
Vote that something good is given or can be given to us. And
not just anything, but everyone claims to have the best for us.

What has to be brought in return is irrelevant if
they have exactly what we absolutely want. Expressed differently:
When politics or business have exactly what we want most, can
they sell it and it leaves us completely cold.

Or they manage to portray it in such a way that they give it to us. So
one remains in good memory. Shape politics and economy (media)
our society and hold it together by serving their interests
as each represent, and on the other hand, by representing trade,
as if it were a gift from them. Whether that is true is

It is important that the majority of people think that way. In this case have
others something I think I need. I depend on them.
The less I can influence what the 'other side' does, the more dependent
I imagine myself.

Politics and economics are supposed to protect the individual and his basic rights
Secure needs. Then nothing. It shouldn't be less than that
is essential. It shouldn't be more, because everyone has the right to be
To shape life yourself. A criticism can therefore not be in principle
against them, but against going beyond this framework. Because then
the individual thinks that his life is essentially determined by others.

Exhausting luck?

First of all, there is a pleasant side to the whole thing. Sometimes you can find it
appealing that there is an indirect relationship between what you do and what you do
Result there. Everyday experience has impressed us that
the direct relationship between action and result requires effort. As in
at school or at work, the prime example of work. Work is often
Not pleasant enough, it primarily serves the goal of getting the necessary money
earn and little beyond that. In at least all major ones
Companies are paid based on length of service or position, so only
indirectly according to performance. Anyone can have pretty much any political opinion
but 99 percent of this has no political impact.

Most car owners leave repairs to a professional, the
they more or less trust that he is asking a fair price.
Those who book a trip with a travel agency often choose verbally
Descriptions and catalogs. In these and all similar cases
A certain basic confidence is assumed that the result will be similar
is expected. In these and similar cases you can never do that
know exactly. Let alone affect it directly. So far so good.

Children of fortune have it easy

It is different if you move from individual cases to a general principle
(fail) closes. The much more important areas of life are subject to
the control of each individual. At least in principle; who does not control this
really claimed and used, a lot is forgiven. The scope is
obvious if z. B. someone wants to have more company with friends, but nothing
takes action because he thinks that good friends will come by themselves
report to him. Surely the behavior doesn't make you happy. Could it
give a psychological reason to act anyway?

Is there no direct relation between the action and the result (as is the case with the expectation
others are responsible for doing what is wanted), one can
Feeling like a 'lucky child' when it develops like this - you
was lucky. Happiness is something that good coincidence is about
brings one. How pleasant can it be to think about it then
it wasn't a mere coincidence, but that you are something special
not seeing the others and sometimes neither.

It has to be
have a reason that it just hit me (!); others will
not so spoiled by fate. And if it does ... With others it is completely
obviously: this is just a coincidence, surely it has nothing to do with you there
if you don't have to pride yourself on it, it could happen to anyone.
But if I am 'chosen', then this weighs much more heavily than if I do
I 'only' achieve something myself.

I want to make the following understandable: It is a general one
psychological principle that people tend to have their own successes in everyone
Fall, regardless of the facts or chance, take credit for yourself
attributable to. Failures are mostly attributed to the environment across the board,
they come from outside - regardless of a realistic assessment.
And the successes of others are often seen as their own indirect failure

A well-known example: the 15-year-old daughter comes home from school
home, she got an A on her class work. The proud father
to his wife: "You see, this is my daughter!" In the afternoon
his daughter goes out with her clique, comes back late at night stoned.
The indignant father: "What have you done with the child, woman!"

So easily this ascription of success and failure on me and them
Environment, it has one major disadvantage. I can hardly decide for myself
and cause, whereby I succeed and failures only become
seldom learn. Even if this is often seen as a relieving advantage,
it doesn't change that - I am exposed to the whims of nature as a plaything.

And in this context, I hardly take my chances of becoming happy
through your own actions. If I am dissatisfied, I can and must do more
or add less and wait for improvement. Who so through life
has probably never realized the uncertain rules by which it is based
he divides the world.

In order to be happy you must take responsibility for your actions
take. Finding out exactly what you are doing yourself is often
not easy enough. But - there is no way around it. Read somewhere
I use the phrase 'If you want to be happy, you have to have chaos in your
Taming your head. ”It belongs to knowing the consequences of your own actions
obviously to this. A little story should make it clear what it is about.

The old knights ...

The knights in the Middle Ages fought in heavy armor, with armored
Horse, a helmet that covers the head, breastplate, and bracers and greaves.
As a result, they were protected, but also extremely immobile. If
one knight fought another, the rules commanded it for
to ensure equal combat conditions. Voted on equal terms
they then also fight the same way.

When they went on the crusades against the 'unbelievers', theirs showed itself to be limited
Agility as very disadvantageous, as her opponents ride around her twice
could before they turned. The only way - and were on it
she was well prepared - was to roll down the other army.

The dreaded one
The Crusaders' attack formation was known as the 'Boar Head' because of their
Wedge shape. If they attacked in this order, they scattered the enemy
in all directions; often these could not collect a second time and were
destroyed. Any crusader who isn't in the right moment at the right time
Storming direction, reduced the effectiveness of the entire army considerably.

Now you are not a crusader and your goal is not to conquer Jerusalem.
But in every other way the story also applies to you and your life
to: The more you spread out in different directions, the more you hold back
or tackle something with half your strength, the less you move. If they
but agreeing with yourself, you multiply your powers many times over.

Being one with oneself requires being one with one's thoughts, feelings
and actions as well as with his goals. Imagine the battlefield
is in you. The knights are then your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Only when everyone strives in one direction will they be successful.
The more they pull away, the more daring the company becomes. The opponents are
the hard facts of this world, they don't give you victory. Almost harder
as the fight is the task of putting one's army in order. But if that succeeds
the rest comes up almost by itself.

Self-contradictions or the internal civil war

Every disorder in your own ranks, every discrepancy makes you less
single point. The inconsistencies between thoughts, feelings and actions
are self-contradictions. Perhaps when you hear the word 'uniqueness' you think
to someone who glows like a comet through life without any break,
towards a single goal without any break, without having to reorient yourself
a train - nothing stops him, nothing and nobody else is important,
it is pure energy ... And no person can live like this if the standard is true
utopian high and anything but desirable.

Surely nobody wants to live like that either. In extreme situations you should be able to
be to mobilize all reserves. That would be with the one drawn above
Picture the battle itself. But this takes a long preparation, one
long way - and maybe you can even avoid it. Also a victory
who is not celebrated is not one. And you don't have to conquer the world either
to be able to live happily in her.

One-point therefore means everything for one at the decisive moment
Set goal; otherwise to improve and perfect oneself in small things,
not to do anything that runs counter to one's own demands on life.

In this regard, the current change in psychotherapeutic
Advice interesting. In the US, the trend is away from the psychological
Session in the spirit of Freud, towards so-called philosophical life counseling. That lies
based on the knowledge that the classical psychological approach
is pretty ineffective. It has a relatively high cognitive value, however
it offers little orientation for the actions of the counseled - it has proven itself
not in practice.

But that’s what it’s all about. What does an adult get out of it when he finds out
that his fear of heights was caused by being a toddler
crawled out onto the balcony at night in stormy weather and was frightened?
This memory alone does not shake his fear of heights. Even more: Um
To cope with them, it is irrelevant what they have done in the past
caused. Because either way you have to address your current problems as
who you are now. This is where the philosophical life counseling continues
at. The root cause research is abandoned. Instead, she aims
on resolving contradictions in the worldview.

What is luck?

already said that the ultimate goal of every human being is happiness. All other goals are
as different as the people, and it is unimportant for the individual how
great or important his ideas may turn out to be in comparison with others.

Every idea of ​​a beautiful tomorrow, every vision, every goal is
a placeholder for the one common ultimate goal, happy too
Life. Happiness is therefore necessary for a person's goals or goals in life
bound. It can't just be a feeling, it can be a way of life.
Because only those who have found and strive for a goal that is important to themselves
and accepts all obstacles and continues to hold on to them
to become happy.

Anyone who thinks it could come from outside thinks someone or something
other things could make him happy. He'll have to wait and
can only tell from time to time that he is 'lucky' or 'unlucky'
had. That usually just means that chance brought him this or that.
But if a person considers himself responsible and principally capable
sees that what is important to him to do, he can bring about that himself
he lives better and happier.

Of course he can make mistakes or be wrong, but he can too
learn from it and get better. Then it becomes the person as confirmation
experience that he has a direct influence on the results of his
Actions; he can create himself, succeed himself, and is not up
Depending on the whims of fate. He's no longer a plaything, but catches
start playing yourself.