(Read to the bottom of this post for The 2% Solution).

Happiness is in the news. In fact one of the most emailed articles in the New York Times last week was “Happiness 101.” By D. T. Max. It appeared on January 7, 2007.

You will need to register on the site to access the information. It’s free and it’s worth it.

I feel like I’m receiving new information about happiness research every other day. It certainly beats the standard fare of what is wrong and how to fix it — or about how a situation is totally impossible.

Some of the resources are:

Authentic Happiness Website

Dr. Martin Seligman is Director of the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center. The site features some fascinating free questionnaires. I especially like the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire.

Flow: The Psychology of Positive Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

and all his other books at this site. I am currently listening to a recording of his Good Business and find it even better than the original book.

The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz

My Personal Research

I decided to do some happiness research on my own — on a very personal level. Each day I journal about the three things that made me feel happiest yesterday. After I list them, I write a sentence about why each one made me happy.

I’ve learned that sometimes it is the simplest things that matter — like sitting quietly with a cup of tea and reading the newspaper. Other times it is meeting with a client and seeing positive changes. At still other times it’s a shared joke or wonderful performance. Every day is different and the more often I do the exercise, the happier I seem to be.

It’s so simple!

Try it yourself. Doing it just before bedtime works best. Just list the three things that made you happiest during the day and the reason why each item is on the list. That’s all there is to it. Let me know what happens.

The 2% Solution

Spend 2% of your time doing something that makes you happy. There are 1,440 minutes in every 24 hours. 2% of your total time is equal to 29 minutes and 20 seconds.

Spend at least 29 minutes and 20 seconds every day doing something that makes you happy!

[tags]Personal Growth, Self-Improvement, Self Help[/tags]