• The Pursuit of Happiness
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Happiness and Positive Psychology | Counselling Connection

Csikszentmihalyi and Happiness - Pursuit of Happiness

The meanings of ‘happiness’ 1.1 Two senses of ‘happiness’ What is happiness
The first claim, that most people are happy, appears to be a consensusposition among subjective well-being researchers (for a seminalargument, see Diener and Diener 1996). The contention reflects threelines of evidence: most people, in most places, report being happy;most people report being satisfied with their lives; and most peopleexperience more positive affect than negative. On any of the majortheories of happiness, then, the evidence seems to show that mostpeople are, indeed, happy. Yet this conclusion might be resisted, on acouple of grounds. First, life satisfaction theorists might questionwhether self-reports of life satisfaction suffice to establish thatpeople are in fact satisfied with their lives. Perhaps self-reportscan be mistaken, say if the individual believes herself satisfied yetshows many signs of dissatisfaction in her behavior, for instancecomplaining about or striving to change important things in herlife. Second, defenders of affect-based theories—hedonistic andemotional state views—might reject the notion that a baremajority of positive affect suffices for happiness. While thetraditional view among hedonists has indeed been that happinessrequires no more than a >1:1 ratio of positive to negative affect,this contention has received little defense and has beendisputed in the recent literature (Haybron 2008c). Some investigatorshave claimed that “flourishing” requires greater than a3:1 ratio of positive to negative affect, as this ratio is thought torepresent a threshold for broadly favorable psychological functioning(Fredrickson and Losada 2005; Larsen and Prizmic 2008). If a similarproportion were adopted as the threshold for happiness, on ahedonistic or emotional state theory, then some of the evidence takento show that people are happy could in fact show the opposite. In anyevent, the empirical claim relies heavily on nontrivial philosophicalviews about the nature of happiness, illustrating one way in whichphilosophical work on happiness can inform scientific research.

Csikszentmihalyi insists that happiness does not simply happen

29/09/2017 · The connection between happiness and performance for millennials lies in their tendency to share, both online and offline
So the role of money in happiness appears, at this juncture, to be amixed bag, depending heavily on how we conceive of happiness and whatrange of societies we are considering. What (else), then, does mattermost for happiness? There is no definitive list of the main sources ofhappiness in the literature, partly because it is not clear how todivide them up. But the following items seem generally to be acceptedas among the chief correlates of happiness: relationships, engagementin interesting and challenging activities, material and physicalsecurity, a sense of meaning or purpose, a positive outlook, andautonomy or control.[]Significant correlates may also include—amongmany others—religion, good governance, trust, helping others,values (e.g., having non-materialistic values), achieving goals, not being unemployed,andperhaps also connection with the natural environment.[]


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Sep 29, 2017 · The connection between happiness and performance for millennials lies in their tendency to share, both online and offline
In short, the relationship between money and happiness may depend onwhich theory of happiness we accept: on a life satisfaction view, therelationship may be strong; whereas affect-based views may yield a muchweaker connection, again above some modest threshold. Here, again,philosophical views about the nature and significance of happiness mayplay an important role in understanding empirical results and theirpractical upshot. Economic growth, for instance, has long been a toppriority for governments, and findings about its impact on humanwell-being may have substantial implications for policy.

What's the connection between mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and happiness in the workplace? Or is there a connection?
Outwardly virtuous conduct undertaken in the name of personalhappiness might, if wrongly motivated, be incompatible with genuinevirtue. One might, for instance, engage in philanthropy solely to makeoneself happier, and indeed work hard at fine-tuning one'sassistance to maximize the hedonic payoff. This sort of conduct wouldnot obviously instantiate the virtue of compassion or kindness, andindeed might be reasonably deemed contemptible. Similarly, it might beadmirable, morally or otherwise, to be grateful for the good things inone's life. Yet the virtue of gratitude might be undermined bycertain kinds of gratitude intervention, whereby one tries to becomehappier by focusing on the things one is grateful for. If expressionsof gratitude become phony or purely instrumental, the sole reason forgiving thanks being to become happy—and not that one actually hassomething to be thankful for—then the “gratitude”might cease to be admirable, and may indeed be unvirtuous.

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Two other objections are more substantive, raising questions aboutwhether life satisfaction has the right sort of importance. Oneconcern is whether people often enough have well-groundedattitudes of life satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Evaluatingone's life as a whole can be a complicated business, and thereis some question whether people typically have well-defined attitudestoward their lives that accurately reflect how well their livesmeasure up relative to their priorities. Some research, for instance,suggests that life satisfaction reports tend to reflect judgments madeon the spot, drawing on whatever information comes readily to mind,with substantial influences by transient contextual factors like theweather, finding a dime, etc. (Schwarz and Strack 1999). Debatepersists over whether this work undermines the significance of lifesatisfaction judgments, but it does raise a question whether lifesatisfaction attitudes tend to be well-enough grounded to have thekind of importance that people normally ascribe to happiness.

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Why should anyone care to press such a distinction in characterizinghappiness? For most people, the hedonic difference between happiness onan emotional state versus a hedonistic view is probably minimal. Butwhile little will be lost, what will be gained? One possibility is thatthe more “central” affects involving our emotionalconditions may bear a special relation to the person or theself, whereas more “peripheral” affects, like thepleasantness of eating a cracker, might pertain to the subpersonalaspects of our psychologies. Since well-being is commonly linked toideas of self-fulfillment, this sort of distinction might signal adifference in the importance of these states. Another reason to focuson emotional condition rather than experience alone may be the greaterpsychological depth of the former: its impact on our mental lives,physiology, and behavior is arguably deeper and more pervasive. Thisenhances the explanatory and predictive significance of happiness, andmore importantly its desirability: happiness on this view is notmerely pleasant, but a major source of pleasure and other goodoutcomes (Fredrickson 2004, Lyubomirsky, King et al. 2005).Compare health on this score: while many think it matters chiefly orentirely because of its connection with pleasure, there are fewskeptics about the importance of health. As well, emotional stateviews may capture the idea that happiness concerns the individual'spsychological orientation or disposition: to be happy, on anemotional state theory, is not just to be subjected to a certainsequence of experiences, but for one's very being to manifest afavorable orientation toward the conditions of one's life—a kindof psychic affirmation of one's life. This reflects a point ofsimilarity with life satisfaction views of happiness: contra hedonism,both views take happiness to be substantially dispositional, involvingsome sort of favorable orientation toward one's life. But lifesatisfaction views tend to emphasize reflective or rationalendorsement, whereas emotional state views emphasize the verdicts ofour emotional natures.