Despite what we commonly believe, those things are not the recipe for happiness. Here's the scoop, courtesy of Self Help Magazine .com: Dr. Kennon Sheldon of the University of Missouri studied what events made college students happiest. And then looked at what psychological needs those events met. Here's what he found:
- The most important part of happiness is Autonomy. That's feeling like we are the masters of our own destiny--That we have control over at least a few aspects of our lives our work, our home life.
- Competence is also a biggie. Not only do we like to choose our tasks, we're happiest when we feel like we're doing them well.
- The third thing we need for happiness is a sense that we belong and are close to others. That's different than being popular. It's not about the number of people in our lives, but the sense of closeness that's important.
- And the fourth ingredient for being happy is having a healthy self-esteem.