Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Happiness is...

"Happiness is not having what you want. It is appreciating what you have." Unknown

Many of us believe our lives will be better if we just get what we want. A better job. Nicer house. Better education. Cooler car. More friends. More stuff.

But appreciating what we already have is the key. Unless we're crazy, all of us want the same thing - happiness. And that sounds simple, but it's not that easy.

Because your idea of happiness doesn't necessarily equal mine - they're both equally valid. There's a school of psychology that that posits that we each have a "set point" of happiness. And that other than for brief periods, we pretty much stay at that "set point" regardless of what happens.

One study showed the happiness of those who won the lottery versus those who broke their spine and were paralyzed for life.

After winning the lottery, the winners had a brief bump of happiness, maybe six months. But they eventually returned to their "set point" where they were before winning.

The same with those who became paralyzed. For the first several months they were depressed. But after that most of them returned to their level of pre-accident happiness. As an aside, the paralyzed group actually were happier than the lottery winners a year after the study.

So where does happiness lie? If it isn't money. If it's not the right partner, job, house, or car, then what is it?

As it says in the first sentence I believe it's in appreciating what we have.

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