In my profession I receive the magazine Psychology Today. As I was listening to the articles in the July/August 2013 issue one caught my attention: What Happy People Do Differently: #1 they seek risk, not reward. I was curious and listened to the article. Stated - Happiness can be intentional and strategic. Basically our habits and choices can push the needle on our well-being. It turns out that activities that lead us to feel uncertainty and discomfort are associated with some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of people's lives. Happy people, it seems, engage in a wide range of counterintuitive habits that seem, well, downright unhappy. Truly happy people seem to have an intuitive grasp of the fact that sustained happiness is not just about doing things that you like. It also requires growth and adventuring beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. Happy people, are simply put, curious. In a 2007 study, Todd Kashdan and Colorado State psychologist Michael Steger found that when participants monitored their own daily activities, as well as how they felt, over the course of 21 days, those who frequently felt curious on a given day also experienced the most satisfaction with their life -- and engaged in the highest number of happiness inducing activities, such as expressing gratitude to a colleague or volunteering to help others.
Curiosity it seems is largely about exploration -- often at the price of momentary happiness. Curious people generally accept the notion that while being uncomfortable and vulnerable is not an easy path, it is the most direct route to becoming stronger and wise. Of course, there are plenty of instances in life where the best way to increase your satisfaction is to simply do what you know feels good, whether it;s putting your favorite song on the jukebox or making plans to see your best friend. But from time to time, it's worth seeking out an experience that is novel, complicated, uncertain, or even upsetting!
What do you think?