The Pursuit of Happiness

“Happiness is not an accident. Nor is it something you wish for. Happiness is something you design.

-Jim Rohn


Happiness Principle #1: Overcome your genetics and choose how you react to life’s happenings.
Manifesting Mantra: I choose.
Happiness Tools: Check out these resources and exercises for more insight on how to create the happiest life for yourself.
Jim Rohn: It’s not what happens, it’s what you do that matters (30-34:00 mins)
Sonja Lyubomirsky:

Pursuit of Happiness Discussion Points:

We all look at life through our own unique lens that is created based on our own experiences, upbringing, genetics, etc. This is part of the human condition. How does this affect happiness?
We must look inside ourselves for happiness because if we look externally for people or for things to make us happy, we will always fail. If we look externally for things to make us happy, we will never have enough because humans always get accustomed to what we have. Enough is never enough when it comes to external desires. If we look externally for people to make us happy, we will never be happy because we cannot control the behavior or the feelings of anyone outside of ourself. It is another part of the human condition.  Everyone shows up with their own unique lens in which they see life through based on their own unique set of experiences, upbringing, and genetics. Everyone is always processing their own reality based on their own experiences, so you cannot depend on others to make you happy because everyone else is worried about their own happiness and their own survival.
80% of the lens in which we see life through (or what we believe to be reality) is made up of the experiences we’ve had between the ages 0-8.
To really be happy, you need to commit to knowing yourself better and to  making yourself happy from the inside out.


Pursuit of Happiness Questions to Consider:

Does genetics play a role in happiness? Are these percentages (50/10/40) accurate? Is the set point really set, or can we intentionally move it with a commitment to proactively engaging in intentional activities that will cause us to grow? Can we really measure happiness with a test? What are some of the intentional activities we can put into place to counterbalance the “Eeyore Gene”?


Additional Growth Opportunities:

How to create a personal mantra:
How to write SMART goals:
Check out this article on the nature of human beings. Might spark some ideas for 1F:
The more you learn about yourself, the more access you have to happiness. Here are some personality tests that will give you some insight on who you are. I think you will like these tests better than the happiness ones that we just talked about:


Reading Assignments:

Pursuing Happiness: A Bedford Spotlight Reader. Matthew Parfitt and Dawn Skorczewski. Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2016.
Sonja Lyubomirsky & Argyle and Hills
Critical Reading and Writing: A Bedford Spotlight Reader. Jeff Ousborne. Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014.
Ousborne, 1-9,


Writing Assignments:

Defining Happiness: Where do our notions of happiness come from?
1A. Compare the “Subjective Happiness Scale” in Sonja Lyubomirsky to the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire developed by Michael Argyle and Peter Hills. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? What are they trying to measure? How do they define happiness? The first two pages of your 1A should be in essay format, describing your understanding of these positions and raising any questions you might have about the texts. The third page should be a short response explaining HOW you went about annotating your work, identifying the author’s claims, and summarizing their ideas. 2-3 pages.


Writing Discussion Points:

Writing Process: Summarize + Analyze + Formalize
10A Writing Language: Line of Sight and Framing


Why this is Going to be Your Favorite Course this Quarter (or maybe in your whole life)…
It’s Practical

-You’ll become a better reader, writer, and speaker which makes you a powerful communicator who can create influential connections that lead to better jobs and more financial security.

-The ability to powerfully communicate allows you to stand out amongst the fiercely competitive crowd.

-The techniques, concepts, and processes that you’ll learn in this course will better prepare you for all of your future college courses, interviews, proposals, grants, scholarships, job applications, etc. etc. (you get the idea…)

It’s Purposeful

-Understanding and implementing the writing process will help you become more powerful in all areas of your life.

-This process pushes you to challenge yourself to commit to something and successfully complete it even if and when you don’t want to.

-It forces you to figure out from the very beginning of your college career the ways in which you learn best and what processes need to be in place for you to be successful.

-It will prove to you that you can still be successful if you only go from A to B and not A to Z. And it shows you that you don’t need to know all of the answers and all of the steps in order to start a new project/paper/etc. You just have to go one step at a time and go through the process.

You’ll Personal Develop Yourself

-In this course, we will spend a lot of time answering one of life’s biggest questions: What does it mean to be happy?

-This means that you get to put a framework together for how you want to live your life and what happiness looks like to you from the very start of college. Very few people get the opportunity to do this!

-The concepts and techniques that you learn in this course will guide you for the rest of your life.

You’ll Actually Raise Your Level of Happiness

-This course will challenge you to learn a lot about yourself. It’s going to be difficult at times and fun at others. You’re going to grow as a student, a writer, and as a person. You’re going to see where your limits are and you’re going to push yourself to move past them.

-You’ll learn new processes and new ways of thinking that you can implement in any area of your life for the rest of your life.

-Awareness around who your are, your limitations how to overcome them will ultimately make you a better, stronger person who is more impactful in this world and to those around you personally and professionally.