Is there a formula to a happy life?
I’m a literature and writing geek trapped inside a mathematicians brain. Though writing and reading are the things I most enjoy, I can’t seem to get past the mindset that makes me think of everything as an equation, or make the obsolete appear logical. (there you go- knowing thyself is the key to happiness)
Needless to say, I think there may be a mathematical concept that will define happiness. (if the past month has told us anything it’s that happiness definitely can’t be defined with words)
So what kind of math are we talking about? Fake statistics of course, as I have no scientific knowledge at all to back up what I’m about to say…
The least happy people I know are living there life in the good old days. Think fifties sitcom. People referred to elders as Mr. and Mrs., Aunt and Uncle even if there was no actual biological relationship. Adults married. Sunday dinner attendance at Grandma’s was a must. 2.5 children lived behind that white picket fence. These people just want to go back to when things were “normal”. When you want to live in a world that doesn’t exist anymore you can’t be happy.
The other set of past dwellers are the ones that can’t get over failed relationships. They might not have loved their ex, but they want that relationship status back. I also get being heartbroken if your partner passed- obviously it’s a devastating situation. But…if you spend every day sad at your loss, you will never move on.
You can’t turn back time. And for that reason, I say spend 10% of your time remembering the past. Memories are lovely, but don’t move in.
What does the future hold?
OK- no fooling. You need to have some preparation for the future. You need to put some money aside. You need to take care of your health. You need to figure out what you would like to do, like to be, and take the necessary steps towards achieving that goal. Even if your goal is to have a lemonade stand, you need to find a spot, make the stand, advertise, make the lemonade….Achieving things requires thought, practice, resources…The end result only comes after much hard work.
But- you can’t do everything solely to prep for the future. If you are always prepping and never taking the time to smell the roses, you will be burnt out and washed up. You will not be happy. So I’m thinking spend 25% of your time thinking and planning for the future.
35% of our time is now accounted for- which leaves us with (drumroll please)
65% of out time should be focused on the present in order for us to be happy. Do your job or your homework to the best of your ability. Take care of your body physically and mentally. Nurture the relationships that are important to you. Do activities that you enjoy. Make your home a place you enjoy being in. Spend time just being…
While we all agree that these are just made up percentages, the theory behind them is somewhat sound- you need to figure out what percentage of past, present and future makes you happy.
So- what’s the right percentage for you?