LeadU presents Happiness Redefined


Happiness Redefined

I think, without a doubt, this concept of happiness through an @F-L-O-W lens is MOST difficult and perplexing because of how I think of happiness as I see it through the @F-L-O-W lens of reality.

There are many definitions of happiness, and I would like to attempt to redefine it for the purpose of your consideration, without discounting the others.

In happiness @F-L-O-W, or a felt and realized sense of satisfaction, along with the accompanying states of bliss, flow, and values-based alignment, or contentment, is key.

Now, the perplexing thing is that @F-L-O-W Happiness is not always going to represent or produce what most say is a "positive" psychology.  I am convinced from my own and the studied experiences of others, that true happiness emerges from the properties, which combine to produce it.  This may result in the state of "happiness" to have a negative connotation using a conventional frame of reference.

People will say, "How can you be happy if it produces a negative, alternate, or mismatched state?"

Possibly in the conventional meaning, we might not label this state as happiness.  But let me make the case for why happiness, or this being state of values alignment can be negative and still be deemed happy.

Happiness, to me, is a "sort" of contentment; it is an alignment… a felt sense of realized satisfaction.  It makes it OK to be depressed, to be melancholy, to be angry, to be doubtful, and to drift, or remain in states of negativity.

In fact, I will say this; I have seen some people MOST happy when they are being negative, confrontational, self-doubting, critical, or tough.  It can be a natural alignment for them to look for half-full glasses, and to work on what we would call the negative side of things rather than matching, or going along with others.  They are most content, most in alignment, when they are moving against, or away from the status quo, or the conventional thinking.

In physics and chemistry, we don’t label electrons BAD, because they have a negative charge?  Bad is a judgment, the negative charge is just what it is, a negative charge.  It’s in our labeling and judgment that we then call them good, or bad.

Therefore, @F-L-O-W adds dimensions to happiness, that to some would NOT fit the ideas they had about happiness, because positive and negative are really just two sides of the same thing, aren’t they?

When we view the negative, opposite the positive, or what we might call the mismatched dimensions of reality, we do not preclude happiness being a continuum that is labeled by some as good or bad.  We must allow ourselves to realize that an addict, living in squalor, might actually be happier than we think.

This kind of perspective FORCES us (in order to hold it as a possible reality), to think and feel differently about the "nature" of reality and the people in those realities which we would conventionally label as ‘sadness’ or unhappiness… when the very fact they are in those realities is due to natural values alignment.

Helpful Hint: Try to hold the idea that happiness may look a LOT different than you think it is.  Even when it might appear sad to you, it might be in perfect alignment for another, producing the tensions that emerge behavior in ways that confound your conventional thinking.

Action Step: The next time you see someone who appears sad, angry, or unhappy according to conventional means; think about what I’ve said.  Consider how that behavior you experience, with them, or in you, might be in alignment with what is taking place as natural, and an alignment with your deepest values.

Now, with that in mind, shift your behavior to them and see what happens, noting that the state they might be in might be producing happiness for them, than what it appears on the outside.

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or need some additional help, please use the form below to submit them.  Someone will get back to you within 48 hours. 

    We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

    Mike R. Jay
    Leadership University

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