Monday, March 16, 2009

Happiness and People In Our Lives

Social scientists say that 70-85% of our happiness comes from our association with other people. (Depends on the scientist you listen to where the percentage falls.) These are the people we choose to spend time with - that doesn't include your children (unless they're grown), but it does include your spouse.

When things are not going well, the people in your life help you through the rough times. When you're happy, it's magnified when you share it with other people.

We know that the five people you choose to spend time with have more impact on your life than any other single factor. That's not just for happiness, but general attitude about dozens of things, how you'll react to situations, how you manage money, etc. etc. etc. It really is like your Mama said when she was telling you that wasn't a good crowd to be hanging around with.

So, armed with this knowledge, I've been thinking about why I'm not as happy as I should be these days. I should be ecstatic every day - literally floating on clouds - thrilled with my good health and good news. I'm not unhappy by any means, but I'm not ecstatic.

Tonight it occurred to me that my social life largely relies on me to organize and instigate it, with noteable exceptions, and I haven't felt up to that recently. So, I've been missing a lot of my normal interaction. I've been hesitant to make any plans until I see how I'll feel at any given moment, and I haven't been planning for any gatherings at my home. So, in many ways, my social life has ground to a halt the last 2 1/2 months. I haven't felt up to creating the opportunity for much planned socializing and part of it is the anticipation. It's a loss. But, it's something I'm going to have to make it through a little while longer.

Quote of the Day

A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.
                                                                             - Will Rogers