THE GOOD LIFE manifesto

An insight into true happiness

This manifesto presents itself as an alternative to the life we live today. Consumerism has spread throughout the world we inhabit, and along with that came the misguided concept that we need to have a lot of things in order to be happy. It is not true, though.

Studies show that the void one has inside cannot be filled with material possessions. In fact, the rush felt by those who buy new things is quickly replaced with boredom, therefore one need to keep buying in order to feel the rush all over again. Is it truly the way of achieving satisfaction?

No. Our priorities are set wrongly, and we no longer hold the wisdom to properly seek happiness. Having meaning, purpose and passion in life is the right path towards happiness. We are not what we buy, and we don’t need to prove ourselves through wealth.

How does it work? What is happiness? Each human being holds a personal happiness level, which doesn’t depend on circumstances. In fact, 50% of happiness and satisfaction in life is genetic in origin. Our happiness range is something like this:

Basically, the “set point” is those 50%. Conditions are traits in life that we cannot change, such as gender, health, ethnicity and etc. We simply get used to it. The only trait we can actively do something about is Voluntary Conditions. Things we choose, for example, relationships, jobs, hobbies, location, amongst others. These elements cause a greater impact in one’s life, even if they don’t seem too relevant at the time.

That is the main reason why we all need to re-evaluate our lives. Instead of spending money to buy more things, we should buy more experiences. Memories, and a sense of belonging, is what make us happy in the long run. Our relations, community and social ties provide us with a more lasting feeling of fulfilment than anything else. Stop working crazy hours in order to increase your pay check, as that will also compromise your free time. And memories are made of experiences, moments we share with our loved ones, which are the only meaningful things we are going to carry until the end of our days.

The time for change is now. Get involved. Get in touch with other people. Share. Try out new activities. Show your family what is really worth. Spend time with them, cherish your loved ones. Experiences strengthen one of the greatest contributors to real happiness: our social ties. And once you’ve done it, encourage and inspire those around you to do the same.

 

Happiness: How to be Happy

        I.            DIY: Do it yourself.

Instead of buying new stuff, you can think of ways to reuse and recycle things you already have. It is fun, the internet has tutorials that can help you, and, it is an activity that can bring people together. What are you waiting for? Drop your gadgets and grab a hammer. You might even discover a new hobby! You will surely have good memories.

     II.            Donate.

You don’t have to be rich in order to donate. We tend to accumulate lots of things we don’t really need, and that occupy space in our homes, our lives and our minds. Unfortunately, the world is in need and surely you can help. Grab a box and get rid of everything you haven’t touched for a while. You’ll help someone and feel better about yourself. And, if you have already done that, why not try and donate a little of your time? Making someone happier is the key to being happier yourself.

   III.            Travel.

Plan a way of stepping out of your comfort zone. Everyone needs a change of daily routine. In addition, people who travel together strengthen their bonds and gain knowledge of each other. And experimenting new things, like local food, clothes and gain new insight. It is good to have a break.

   IV.            Get Involved.

We are social beings, therefore we need to feel that we belong somewhere in order to be happy. However, the daily rush of major cities and the lack of time in one’s life are preventing us from getting to know each other. So, go do something about it. Maybe a garage sale. A collective baking. A garden. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you get in touch with the people around you. They will appreciate the effort.

      V.            Exercise.

It is not only a matter of being healthy, although that is a good justification. Exercise can make you feel happier. Endorphins are released all through your body, making you feel good. It is good for your body, mind and soul. You will feel energized, and your mood will be boosted. On top of that, exercising is a good way to meet new people or to share an activity with your loved ones. Why don’t you start running now and maybe next season you can run a marathon?