Have you ever stopped to think about the happiest day of your life? At least so far, that is. Or do you imagine the happiest day of your life is ahead of you? Dan McAdams, whose work in studying life stories has been mentioned in this blog before, describes certain archetypal or characteristic patterns to people's versions of their life story. Some describe their lives as rising from adversity, while others mention bad breaks that sent them into an unexpected crash landing from which they have never quite seemed to recover.
But here we recall the events that mark the peaks or represent the peaks we hope to achieve. What makes a "happiest day" experience? Is it personal accomplishment after a long, sustained effort? Or is it the promise of a new relationship? Does a happiest moment represent a capstone of previous experiences, or the beginning of a new journey?
For most of us, there have been many happy days, and we hope there will be many more. Perhaps what creates happiness at the beginning of our lives is different than the causes of those joyous moments in midlife, or as we mature in later years.
What are your thoughts about the events, or doings, that have characterized your memorable moments? Please share them here! The hope is, of course, that by understanding our own happiest moments, we can create the conditions to make them happen again! We can create the lives we want.
DLW is an occasional blog about how people spend the time of their lives (every moment) to enable health, balance, meaning and fulfillment. As a blogspot about doing, it draws from personal stories and from studies of everyday living. It's main idea is that to be well, people must be involved fully in what they do. The activities that occupy our days help to connect us to the world, define who we are, and keep us healthy.
Great Links About What, How, Why, Where and How Often People Do Things
- Calculate your Life Expectancy
- O*Net - A terrific resource to get information about work related occupations
- Wisdom—A must see project of shared experience
- Brian R Little- About Personal Projects
- Authentic Happiness - Take the Work-Life Questionnaire
- wdydwdyd? (Why do you do what you do?)
- Calculate your weekly Time Use
- Bureau of Labor Statistics -American Time Use Survey
- ▼ February (7)
Interesting Books about Doing and Not Doing
- Bateson, Mary Catherine—Composing a Life
- Bruner, Jerome—Acts of Meaning: Four Lectures On Mind and Culture
- Christiansen, Charles & Townsend, Elizabeth—Introduction to Occupation: The Art and Science of Living
- Csíkszentmihályi, Mihaly— Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
- Diener, Ed, & Biswas-Diener, Robert—Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth.
- Edgell, Stephen—The Sociology of Work: Continuity and Change in Paid and Unpaid Work
- Gini, Al—The Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure and Vacations
- Kabat-Zinn, Jon—Whereever You Go, There You Are
- Little, Brian; Salmela-Aro, Katerina; and Phillips, Susan D. — Personal Projects Analysis: Goals, Actions and Human Flourishing
- Matuska, K & Christiansen, C. — Life Balance -Multidisciplinary Theories and Research
- McAdams, Dan P. —The Stories We Live By: Personal Myths and the Making of the Self
- Robinson, John & Godbey, Geoffrey — Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time
- Seligman, Martin—Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
- Tolle, Eckhart—The Power of Now