In a recent happiness-related article by the Norwegian professor of psychology Ole Jacob Madsen, it was suggested that instead of asking the more usual question “Will this make me happy?” when making a decision about something, we should rather be asking “Will this make me grow?”
We all want to be happy. The article made me wonder what it takes for me to feel I am growing. First thing that came up is when I learn something new and apply it. I am changing the way I do or perceive something. So to experience growth in this case there has to be an action from my part. Most recent example here is my cold shower experience! I am happy I manage to do it and it makes me feel good every single day. Second thing that came up is when I do something that feels very uncomfortable and I don’t know the outcome. There is a feeling of fear, probably fear of failure, and I do it anyway. If it works out fine it will give me a great feeling of growth, accomplishment and happiness. As I am reflecting on growth and happiness, I can see that when we push boundaries and dare to go further there is a good possibility for happiness as a result of growth.
Earlier this week, I listened to researcher Dr Joe Dispenza talk about different types of meditation and how to find the one that works best (whether you are meditating to find calmness and stillness, or to improve a health condition, achieve a certain lifestyle, etc). He was saying that we tend to do the meditations that we like and find easy, and that it is easy to get stuck there. He went on by recommending to do meditations we find challenging, that demand more of us than what we are comfortable with, in order to evolve in our meditation practice. In other words: Change what we normally do, grow/evolve, and finally get where we want to be – in happiness. Could this be true for all areas of our life?
So how about you, when do you feel you are growing? If it is true that growth is directly related to happiness, I believe it is worthwhile taking a moment to find out what provides you with a sense of growth.
By curiosity I googled “happiness and growth”. The following sentence by the American writer Pearl S. Buck came up: “Growth itself contains the germ of happiness”. I thought these were perfect words to conclude this blogpost.
ps. go for growth!