What are the three ways to find happiness?



Each of these three were predictive of happiness:

  • Pleasure
  • Engagement
  • Meaning

People low on all three were extremely unhappy:

Different orientations to happiness and their association with life satisfaction were investigated with 845 adults responding to Internet surveys. We measured life satisfaction and the endorsement of three different ways to be happy through pleasure, through engagement, and through meaning. Each of these three orientations individually predicted life satisfaction. People simultaneously low on all three orientations reported especially low life satisfaction. These findings point the way toward a distinction between the full life and the empty life.

Source: “Orientations to happiness and life satisfaction: the full life versus the empty life” from Journal of Happiness Studies.

One of the authors of this study is UPenn professor and noted happiness expert Martin Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness.

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