Theory of Practical Happiness
Human beings have been striving to understand their own emotions and feelings since the dawn of time in order to control and use them to their advantage. Happiness is one of the most significant of these emotions. Philosophers, scientists, and researchers from a variety of fields have attempted to define happiness from their respective perspectives. Some define it as the virtues of morality and self, while others see it as a gift, and yet others see it as a state of balance between what the body and the soul require.
Happiness is associated with satisfaction, joy, comfort, pleasure, delight, and enjoyment, all of which are beautiful positive internal emotions resulting from activates when recalling a memory, thinking about something, someone, or when something happens. Thus, our simple definition of happiness is a beautiful feeling which comes after an event.
Happiness comes in a variety of forms, depending on the situation. Some people divide happiness into two categories: life and afterlife, while others distinguish between temporary and permanent happiness. It is important here to understand realistically that it is impossible to always feel happy with the nature of life we live in, but it is possible to reach a clear and specific practical lifestyle that elevates the feeling of happiness more frequently. Hence, we came up with the name “The Theory of Practical Happiness” which does not cover the scientific or philosophical aspects of happiness, but rather the clear and simple practical applied aspect that assist in the development of skills that aid in the identification and achievement of intelligent goals, which leads to more happiness and positive states based on improvement and achievement.
Before starting to formulate a plan, you must first determine what is the ‘SMART’ goal because if the goals are not smart, they will not be achieved and will then result in dissatisfaction, frustrations and sometimes even sadness. The SMART goal can thus be characterized as a future result that is Specific, Measurable, Applicable, Relevant, and within a realistic Time range.
To be happy, healthy, and successful at work or in business, for example, are all visions or ambitions, not goals. However, precise and quantifiable goals such as losing 10 pounds, saving $100, or reading a book are considered particular and measurable. Similarly, goals should be realistic and achievable within a reasonable time frame; for example, it is illogical to expect to lose 10 pounds in a week, read 10 books in a day, or save a million dollars in a month on a little wage.
Finally, the goal must be relevant to the vision; it is not efficient to lose 10 kg in a given period of time without any movement only. Or, rather, to earn a monthly salary solely by reading. Therefore, the goals must be set and linked directly to the ambition to avoid distraction and waste of efforts and resources without any benefit, in other words focusing on efficiency and effectiveness.
After understanding the meanings of happiness and goals, it is necessary to understand the life categories in which goals will be achieved. When reading relevant articles and multiple books in the field of happiness, it becomes clear that the goals there are either general or theoretical; unable to be translated into actions, tasks, or activities that we can use to achieve happiness, or they are very specific according to the writer’s point of view, omitting some categories, or both. For example, focusing on one health goal, one financial goal, or one educational goal may cause you to overlook other parts of the same category. Another example is the ideal weight, when set as a health goal without taking into account physical fitness or health state. On the other hand, sometimes the goals are random targets in some categories of life without covering the other categories. For example, covering health, education and money, while safety, work, others and self are not covered. Although this delivers happiness in some areas of life, it also creates a sense of unease and lack since a person must balance life in all areas as much as possible rather than focusing on one area and ignoring the others. For example, it is inconvenient and undesirable being in good health but lacking work, money, or friends, as well as not feeling safe or not having good morals.
Therefore, the theory of practical happiness is based on dividing life into seven categories, which are Health, Safety, Learning, Work, Money, Others and Self. As shown in the figure below, these categories constitute the practical happiness wheel that, if not developed evenly, life will not run smoothly and will not be convenient in some categories.
So, join us to gradually learn about these categories and the relevant goals in each one of them, as well as how to formulate, to follow, and know the factors and skills that would help achieve these goals. Additionally, to know how to make the goals measurable for evaluating the performance and monitoring the progress in order to adjust if the need arises.
First category: Health
Health is the balanced state of the human being that allows one to harmoniously perform their vital functions in order to maintain their life and their normal growth and development. There is a common misunderstanding that the only form of health is a lean or strong body. Yes, these are some signs of health, but every person has conditions, capabilities, and a nature specific to their own body. And through knowing these and knowing how to deal with them, one can reach the optimum and best possible health condition. For example, there is a person who has a temporary or chronic illness or disability, but maintains health by following a certain diet, medications or supplements, and may even be able to do some exercise or even practice a beloved sport, which may sometimes reach professionalism.
Therefore, it is important from a health point of view that the first goal should be complete knowledge of your health conditions through a comprehensive and periodic examination (once or twice a year) and then, based on the results, other goals can be set after consulting specialists.
It is also possible for a person to set smart health own goals if has experience or after knowledge and education in this field, because it makes him understand the factors that might negatively or positively affect the achievement of the goals.
Otherwise, beginners should consult specialists, as mentioned previously, instead of non-professional experiences that may do more harm than good. Just as important as setting smart goals, it is also important to follow up on the implementation because this gives an indication of the progress or delay in achieving the plan to reach the goal. For example, if a goal is set, such as doing a blood test twice a year, one in January and the second in June. If the first test was not done in January, this indicates a delay in completion and must be rectified.
Therefore, it is also important to set the reminder at the appropriate time before the deadline for achieving the goal, provided that the reminder is a reasonable enough time so that the person can do the work or correct the course before it is too late.
In the end, it is important to remember to formulate goals in a smart and realistic way, as excessive haste and impulsiveness may cause frustration for not being able to achieve difficult goals in the illogical period.
Second category: Security
Security is an internal feeling that is generated in the human being that represents him comfort and reassurance, which provides him with a suitable environment and an appropriate atmosphere to carry out life activities, duties and daily work away from fear, anxiety, and tension. Although security is the duty of the state or the system in which we live in, sometimes when we do not feel secure enough, we take the necessary measures that make us reach a sufficient sense of security.
For example, the goal may be a self-defense skills training, acquiring equipment or devices, installing surveillance cameras, installing a locking system, building a fence, changing the residence or the state, or sometimes even changing the country in which we live if necessary. Therefore, we must evaluate how safe we feel and what can be done to achieve this feeling. The reason for feeling insecure may be psychological, even with the availability of the previous practical reasons, so a person may sometimes need to address this feeling if needed.
Third category: Learn
Learning is the process of receiving knowledge, values and skills through reading, from people with experience, or from education, which may lead to the development of behavior, knowledge, and practical thinking that helps a person to live better materially and morally. It is important here to differentiate between learning and education, as education is engaging in an existing and specific system in which knowledge is received from teachers or educational resources and the learner is evaluated. This system sometimes includes levels in which the learner moves from one level to the other after meeting the requirements successfully. As for learning, it does not have to be systematic. It may be by watching or listening to certain programs, accompanying experienced people, reading information on websites, or reading books in a specific field to acquire information and skills that may be used to find a job or a business, to learn a specific hobby, or even for self-development.
Therefore, a person must evaluate himself scientifically. Not necessarily evaluating the highest academic certificate obtained, but evaluating his level in terms of the extent of knowledge in a particular specialty or a particular craft. Just as in education there are certificates based on one another, so does the person who decides to professionalize a profession without an educational certificate may progress in the levels until he becomes an expert in this profession, hobby, or information and may reap a lot from it.
Fourth category: Work
Work is any activity or effort that a person performs or does to achieve a specific result or goal. Work is usually characterized by regularity, discipline, and commitment, whether with oneself or with others. A person may work after learning what is required for a specific job or for the business, or both, if possible, but if there is no regularity, discipline, nor commitment, this may lead to the loss of the job or business or even both.
Therefore, goals must be set after a full assessment of the situation and the capabilities then should be implemented gradually, keeping in mind what needs to be done in the short and long terms respectively to know what are the right decisions and actions that must be taken and done along with the appropriate time for doing them.
Fifth category: Money
Money is a commodity or a tool that a person can use as a medium of economic exchange. Yes, it may come to the imagination at first glance that money is the currencies, but in fact it is more comprehensive than that definition to include shares, bonds, real estate, and even everything that can be bought or sold.
It is also essential for providing a suitable life style for a person and for whom he is responsible of. Usually, the source of money is work or business, or it may be inherited, but if it is not dealt with carefully and consciously, it may run out and expose people, companies or even countries to harsh living conditions that may reach unemployment, homelessness and even starvation, which may lead to unwanted consequences.
Therefore, a person must first know his full financial situation in terms of income, expenses, obligations, and in terms of property as well. Then he sets goals that improve his financial situation, to reach one’s ambition, and vision in a realistic and studied manner.
Sixth category: Others
The Definition of Others for Practical Happiness Theory is simply everyone around you. This includes people, living organisms, inanimate objects, and even the environment of all kinds. One of the most important sources of human happiness is his presence in a society in which he has a role in. It is not possible for a person to live permanently isolated from his surroundings because it certainly negatively affects the psyche and even the survival. If humans were not social and contributing to the development of life, they would be exposed to extinction.
Therefore, we must acknowledge and accept the commitment to our role towards others, even if this is not easy. But when achieving goals in this field, the person will experience great happiness and even a great value that makes him contribute to the development of society and its surroundings for the better. And as usual, we must first evaluate ourselves towards others from the closest to the farthest. For example, what is the evaluation of our relationship with our parents, brothers, sisters, family, relatives, husbands or wives, friends, colleagues, then the community, though we must also evaluate ourselves towards the environment, including objects and inanimate objects.
After that, SMART goals must be set and then achieved gradually. It is not possible to achieve everything in a short period of time and this is not the goal, but the goal is for a person to always be in pursuit of logical development where there is no upper ceiling for ambition.
Seventh category: Self
The Definition of self is simply the answer when you ask yourself who and what am I? When you answer this question, you will find out that the self is divided into two parts. The first part is the material part, which is all that we own, and the second part is the moral part, which is related to what we carry of thoughts, knowledge and morals. Some may argue that all the previous categories are ‘myself’ goals, so why are we talking about the self here individually? The answer is that there are some aspects of life that do not fall within any of the other categories. For example, ethics are related to the self and are considered an important and even common element in all aspects of life. However, a person must also evaluate himself in this category and set goals to develop and avoid being rigid and random. There is also the spiritual aspect, regardless of beliefs, which is very important to reach happiness and psychological comfort that contributes to human development in all other categories.
It is important to point out here that all these categories are interconnected with each other and cannot be completely isolated from the others, and during implementation, we will also note that the achievement of goals in one category contributes to the achievement of other goals in other categories indirectly.
Important goal setting skills
It is important when setting goals and trying to achieve them that a person possesses the skills necessary to achieve these goals, such as time management skills, reading and writing skills, internet browsing, conversation, some programs, and applications. All of these skills can be primary or secondary goals that lead to achieving the main goals.
Finally, we wish everyone luck in accomplishing their goals, and we will always be by your side to assist you in obtaining Practical Happiness and living a life full of achievement and development.