An Equation for Happiness (and a 4th of July Seder)

As many of you know, I have made the study of “happiness” one of my life’s pursuits. When I started on that journey many years ago, my preoccupation with the subject was often dismissed as trivial. Now it’s fashionable, the hot new thing. Academic disciplines have sprung up devoted to the subject.

But for all the books and Ph.D. theses, I’d like to think that very few approach the topic quite like I’ve tried to.

Today we released a new course at Prager University: “The Happiness Equation.” In it, I examine one way in which we make ourselves unhappy – namely, by comparing the reality of our life to an image of what he thought it might be. I’ve even gone so far as to distill the problem down to a mathematical formula!

Unhappiness = Image – Reality

Watch here to see what I mean by this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYvmjdqpT7Y

Like all our courses, but especially those in our Life Studies Department, this one can change your life for the better; if not yours, then someone you know.

Which brings me to my second point: happiness is contagious and needs to be spread to others. For example, part of the reason so many Americans don’t realize how good they have it in this country is because too many of us who appreciate it don’t instill that same grateful attitude in the younger generations. Even on the 4th of July, one of my favorite holidays, most people never stop to reflect on what the day means or how such a free and prosperous and decent society was established and sustained for so long. 

Well, we’ve got something to help change that! 

Last year I wrote a piece in National Review describing my idea for a “4th of July Seder“, an annual re-declaration of the ideas and values that have typified the American experience since its inception. You can click here to learn more about it and even get yourself a “4th of July Declaration” kit to use at your family’s BBQ next month.

I’d love to hear from my Ricochet friends what you think!