We all struggle with feeling blue from time to time.
If you’re anything like me, your reaction is to try to “figure it out”, to get to the truth.
The problem is, being right and being happy are two separate issues.
Being right is about having a good grasp of reality. The closer our beliefs are to reality, the more effecitve we can be. When we’re not deluded about an issue, we listen to the facts, we can make better decisions, predict outcomes to certain actions, and in turn choose those that will make a better impact.
Being happy, on the other hand, is just about getting our needs met.
As Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests, there is an order to getting your needs met.
- Physiological – Food, water, sleep.
- Safety – Shelter, stability, protection from danger.
- Love & Belonging – Friends, family, and romance.
- Esteem – Achievement, mastery, respect.
- Self-Actualisation – Peak experience, potential, fulfillment.
Ironically, “being right” about this might help you become happier. For example, I believe that play is a bigger piece of the puzzle. If I’m right, I might be more effective in making myself happy.
Maslow’s model might be incomplete, but it’s a great place to start. Ultimately, when it comes to your needs, you can feel out a lot of it. If you feel hungry, you need to sort out the first level. If you feel full and safe, but lonely, focus on level three.
##Should you focus on truth, or happiness?
I love the truth, but ultimately happiness is a more powerful asset to have first.
“Only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ. 75% of job successes are predicted by your optimism level, your social support, and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.”
Shawn Achor at 08:14 in the presentation above.
There are infinite things to be right about, but shockingly few things necessary to be happy (we’re not very complicated). Once you’re happy, all future pursuits will be more enjoyable and more likely to succeed.
So if you’re blue, and you’re a natural “thinker”, I urge you to focus on figuring out only one thing:
How are you going to get your needs met?