Set Broad Goals for Long Lasting Happiness. Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. It is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happy. The “pursuit of happiness” is something this country is based on, and different people feel happy for different reasons. Whenever doing something causes happiness, people usually want to do more of it. No one ever complained about feeling too much happiness. But what is the best way to achieve something you want to do? – To make specific rules! When you are trying to at the moment set broad goals for long-lasting happiness.
In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, corresponding author Rohini Ahluwalia and her team described how reframing the mindset about the near future can drastically alter how long it can hang on to people’s happiness. People might think that if they make specific plans for how they’ll use a new purchase, for example, they’ll get the most happiness out it.
In one of the tests the researchers performed, participants were told that they were going to be rating a song (Electric Daisy Violin) for the overall positive feelings that it gave them. Some were asked to base their rating in more general terms (feeling good) and others in more specific ones (feeling excited). The ones with who used more general feelings turned out to feel happier by nearly every metric. Both parties felt about as happy immediately after hearing the song, but those who had been primed to keep their eyes open for more general positivity reported more happiness after a five-minute distraction. They were also able to recall the song more easily and even reported that they would pay more for the song — 72 cents, while more those with specific ratings averaged a bid of 51 cents
In the next test, a third of the participants were asked about a large purchase that they thought would make them happier (a general goal), a third of them about a purchase that would increase their excitement and enjoyment (a specific goal), and a third about a purchase that would increase their peace-of-mind and relaxation (a different, also specific goal). It’s pretty likely that the college students would have chosen the same purchase no matter which question they were asked, but the way the question was framed had an impact.
During three check-ins over the course, the participants who had been primed with more general questions demonstrated higher happiness overall and had their big purchase at the top of their mind when reminded by the researchers. That makes some sense. There’s nothing less happiness-inducing than cataloging exactly what your happiness goals are.
Set Broad Goals for Long Lasting Happiness. Make sure you are happy no matter where you are and what you do!