Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happiness Happens Now

I’ve been talking lately about the Age of Now. We’re living in a time of electronic instant everything, constant updates, limitless choices and channels.

According to a new paper by Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert just published in the journal Science, there’s a reason why people strive to live in the moment. Simply, it makes us happier. The Guardian reports: “Happiness is found by living in the now ... the benefits of living in the moment are extolled by many philosophical and religious traditions, but until now there has been scant scientific evidence to support the advice.”

The study showed that daydreaming takes away our happiness. People are more likely to be joyful when doing things that involve them in the moment, whether it’s having a conversation, exercising or making love.

It’s a surprisingly obvious outcome in these uncertain economic times, where dwelling on the past or thinking about the future can be huge sources of anxiety.

Satisfaction, pleasure, fun, entertainment, connection and, most importantly, love are things that take us into a fuller moment. For enterprise of all kinds, the inquiry goes: am I creating a magic moment? Am I turning down the volume on yesterday and tomorrow? Am I turning up people’s fun dial – today?