I got this quote from an interesting blog titled "Exceptional Dental Practice Management" which is much more interesting to the general manager (or even regular person) than this title would indicate.
The general consensus of current research is that happiness is greatest when we combine frequent numbers of good experiences with a few very intense ones. To feel happy, our focus needs to be on the frequency, not the intensity, of positive events in our lives.
Learning how to take pleasure in the littler victories, recognizing their importance in our lives, and working hard to minimize the negatives will accomplish more than waiting around for a burst of intense pleasure.
Happiness is being aware not only of the positive events that occur in your life but also that you yourself are the cause of these events–that you can create them, that you control their occurrence, and that you play a major role in the good things that happen to you. The sense of mastery over both the good and bad events in your life contributes to an overall sense of well-being."
–Source: "The Road to Happiness" by John Reich and Ed Diener,
Psychology Today, July 1994
I think I need to spend more time both acknowledging all the little things that make me happy and, especially, myself as "cause in the matter" — that is, acknowledging my role in creating these things that make me happy.
Like running. Running makes me happy. Sometimes just sort of everyday happy, sometimes deliriously happy, sometimes deeply-fulfilled happy. But running is not a thing. It is not something that someone else gave me. Running is something I do. Something I take the time and make the effort to do. And the reward of taking that time and making that effort is happiness.
And realizing that, acknowledging that, also makes me happy.