Happiness

Joel Lazer, FCPA, FCA, CIRPHR, Leadership, Lifestyle

December is here, the last month of the year.  December is a mixed month.  We have Hanukkah – that’s over now.  And we have Christmas – still to come.  There’s the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.  I’m always happy when the winter solstice arrives because each day after we get 3 more minutes of daylight.  This makes me happy.

Happiness is a field of study which did not exist when I was in university.  I just might have studied it because I find the subject fascinating.  The best book I have read on the subject is Happier:  Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment by Tal Ben-Shahar.  I read it years ago.  The book includes instructions and exercises to be happier.  It’s not a read-through book; more of an instruction book with logical backup to support the activities.

Shawn Achor has also written about happiness.  His book is The Happiness Advantage:  How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life – well worth the read.  If you prefer video over written material, TED.com has a Shawn Achor talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/shawn_achor  It’s 12 minutes long and there is a gem near the end.  One of his suggestions is a 21-day exercise which takes less than 5 minutes a day.  I have done it a few times and have recommended it numerous times to friends, colleagues and family.  I have asked my partners to do the exercise prior to our retreat in January.  I recommend it to you.