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Harvard professor who teaches a class on happiness: The happiest people balance and prioritize 3 things

Social scientist Arthur C. Brooks, who teaches a happiness course at Harvard University, has been searching for the answers about what it arrangement to feel free for decades, and he’s arrived at some particular conclusions.

In Brooks’ most approved e book with Oprah Winfrey, the pair reveal that your aim in lifestyles could perchance perchance still not be to attain happiness, nonetheless to repeatedly strive for “happierness.” Brooks on the entire emphasizes that happiness isn’t very a vacation design, nonetheless a direction — one thing that it’s possible you’ll perchance perchance perchance be also still aim to prolong with out an cease aim in options.

“Or not it is rarely always comely, ‘Lope glean happier.’ That is just too overall,” Brooks acknowledged on a brand recent episode of the “Ten P.c Happier with Dan Harris” podcast. “I discuss the sub-formulation, the macronutrients of happiness.”

“When I meet any person, I’m in a position to desire out moderately fleet the set aside their ‘weight loss program’ isn’t very as much as snuff, the set aside they’re lacking of their macronutrients of happiness and we can work on the subdimensions,” he added.

The happiest people “appreciate their lives. They glean alternative satisfaction of their actions and so they’ve a technique of that arrangement about why they’re alive,” Brooks acknowledged on the podcast. “These are the protein, carbohydrates and elephantine of happiness.”

The three ‘macronutrients of happiness’

  1. Enjoyment
  2. Pride
  3. Cause


Of us on the entire train that enjoyment is simply pleasure, Brooks acknowledged, which is rarely always an good design to train it. Consistently chasing purely pleasurable experiences “is a gruesome design to dwell a gratifying lifestyles,” he acknowledged.

“What we would prefer to enact, by the arrangement is now to not glean rid of the sources of enjoyment, nonetheless so as to add two things that will compose them extra human.”

It is possible you’ll perchance perchance perchance expertise enjoyment as soon as you rob a source of enjoyment and add people and memory to the combine, Brooks acknowledged: “Whenever you are doing one thing that is pleasurable and could perchance perchance additionally be addictive [and] you do not enact it on my own, you then perchance can glean enjoyment which is a source of exact reliable and enduring happiness.”

There are experiences that it’s possible you’ll perchance perchance perchance be appreciate solo love reading a e book, meditating or listening to tune, nonetheless he suggested participating in social actions love going out for drinks or searching at funny videos on social media with people you appreciate spending time with.


“Pride is the pleasure, the reward, that you just glean after you war for one thing,” Brooks acknowledged. “We as people, we would prefer to war, we would prefer to strive, we would prefer to sacrifice, we even need effort in our lives, on memoir of that is truly how we invent one thing.”

Whenever you happen to are feeling love one thing you have gotten is one thing you have gotten earned, it makes it great extra precious to you in the tip, he acknowledged.

Brooks shared an analogy from his better half’s father that illustrates the theorem that of satisfaction: “The reason people don’t appear to be as ecstatic as they must be is on memoir of they set aside not appreciate their dinner,” he acknowledged. “Because of they’re by no arrangement hungry.”

He additionally historical the instance of how his students at Harvard wouldn’t be as contented by acing a take a look at in the event that they cheated, when put next with in the event that they labored essentially exhausting to note for the examination. “We want to defer our gratification for proper rewards,” he explained.


Cause is the feeling that your lifestyles has a technique of that arrangement, Brooks acknowledged. Of all three “macronutrients,” reason is the one which it’s crucial to expertise the most.

Brooks acknowledged that there are three sub-formulation to that arrangement:

  • Coherence: Why enact things happen the arrangement they enact?
  • Cause: Why is my lifestyles unfolding the arrangement it’s? What are my targets, and what’s my direction?
  • Significance: Why does it matter that I’m alive?

And there don’t appear to be appropriate answers to those questions, he acknowledged, since the answers are subjective for all people. The most practical possible rotten answers to those questions are no answers, “which isn’t very failure. Or not it’s essentially a extraordinarily appropriate waste consequence as soon as you happen to fail on memoir of you perceive what to originate having a scrutinize for,” Brooks acknowledged.

“It takes alternative work” to glean your reason, he added, nonetheless it no doubt’s essentially crucial to train it and have a technique of direction.

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