Starting into the Science of Well-Being course, after a little introduction, there was an optional survey, probably more for Yale’s metrics than anything else. To be helpful, I filled it out. FYI, being helpful makes most people happy. 🙂
Most of the questions aren’t what people would care to read about, but two I thought were good for me to note, and to share for commentary.
Why did you decide to enroll in The Science of Well-Being?
I’ve been interested in, and self-studied, the science of happiness for over a decade now. However, I’ve only engaged in it from time to time upon seeing a good book. I hope this will pull it all together, and more. I am especially looking forward to the rewirements* homework.
*“Rewirement” are homework activities from the course to do each day. They are called “rewirements” because they’re practices aimed at rewiring your habits. Research suggests that if you do these rewirements as prescribed, you should get a boost in your mood and overall well-being.
What do you want or expect to know after taking The Science of Well-Being?
I want to come out knowing more than what I know on the science of happiness, which I am sure will be from my intermittent interest in the past. I do expect to be even happier than now with some good new habits from rewirements in the course!
The first question I shared because I wanted to introduce the term “rewirement” to you, which I thought was quite clever, but which will be critical to the success of this class in making someone happier.
The second question is about goal setting and expectations management. Expectations management, often associated with a goal, or at least desire if you weren’t willing to work for it, is one influential factor to happiness. Finding that right balance is hard in expectations management. Too much and you’ll always be disappointed. Too little or easy and it can feel like you’re settling for something less than the best, though that might be better than being disappointed all the time, but I wouldn’t call it happiness if you’ve got that doubt in your mind. Being realistic, meanwhile, can feel negative in being self-limiting rather than completely optimistic like a free day dreamer.
For me, what I wrote about expecting to be happier if I do the rewirements homework is not just realistic, but also hopeful. I have a happy life now, but happiness is a drug I can’t get enough of, even if I’m not addicted to it, I would say, to have to do silly or harmful things to get it. I just know I’m not doing all of the rewirements habits that are going to be suggested, some of which I’ve had intentions of making into habits, but have not, so there is that element of hope for me in my goal. The rest is faith that these rewirement techniques work, which I have rationally convinced myself already, without having necessarily seen some rewirements in action. Others I have actually tried, but never made into a habit.
So we’ll see how well I succeed in the end, and if it’ll make me happier should I succeed! 🙂
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