Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happiness Discovered

I was listening recently to a talk by the psychologist, Martin Seligman, who has studied what makes people happy. He described the three types of life that bring happiness. (1) The Pleasant Life which consists of obtaining as much pleasure as you can, and filling your days with only pleasurable activities like going shopping, watching television, taking drugs, etc. (2) The Engaged Life which is a life of being one with the things you love. This comes by knowing what your strengths are and then directing your life to use those strengths at work, in relationships, and in all you do. (3) The Meaningful Life also consists of knowing your strengths and then using them in the service of something that you believe is bigger than you are.

Seligman explained that while the Pleasant looks good it only works as long as the pleasure lasts. There is no sustained happiness or satisfaction that comes from the pleasure. But there is a great deal of sustained happiness and satisfaction found in the Engaged Life and the Meaningful Life.

As I listened I was suddenly struck with the fact that the gospel of Jesus Christ (the Good News!) warns us against a life of mere pleasure and not only encourages us but promises us happiness if we are “anxiously engaged in a good cause” and if we forget ourselves and devote our time, means, and efforts to building the gospel of Jesus Christ—something bigger than we are.

Isn’t it amazing! Once again science “discovers” what the scriptures have taught for ages.


Camille said...

I love this! Thanks.

Wendi said...

Thanks for sharing this. I love how truth is found in all sorts of places. :)