People strive to be happy. Once they have it though it wanes. In other words, unless something changes they will become less happy over time. Boredom sets in. Therefore, increasing happiness is just as important as having it.
Four Strategies Increasing Happiness
Four strategies exist to do this:
- Scrap the current state of happiness and go for a new one
- Find a way to appreciate the current state in a new way
- Expand the current state to expand happiness
- Revise the current state so it’s seen in a new way
For example, take a house. I’ve lived in it for a while now. I don’t get the same happiness from it that I did when I first bought it. How do I increase my happiness?
The first strategy says there’s no way I can. I sell it and move into another house. Perhaps I had a bad experience in it. Nothing I do could erase it.
The second one says I learn something about the house that makes it more special to me. Perhaps I met the original owners. They shared some stories that increased my appreciation for it. I might learn that its construction is sounder than I thought. I might learn of someone famous having owned it.
The third says that I still like the house. I just want more of it. So, I add rooms. It gives me more space and options now.
Finally, the fourth strategy has me change the way the house looks or the way it works. I might repaint it, inside and out. I might change the rooms around. An office becomes a bedroom. A bedroom an office. It might just mean rearranging furniture. All these change how the house looks and how it works for me.
Increasing Happiness Through Change
In the end, achieving and increasing happiness does not happen without change. The common theme with all four strategies is change. Once we change to reach happiness, we need to change again to increase it. Otherwise, we slip into boredom.
In a business boredom shows up as declining sales and profits. Increasing happiness shows up as increasing sales and profits. Humans need to experience new things, need to experience growth. This shows in all parts of our lives.
In short, happiness does not come without change. When it does come, its life is fleeting without further change.