Why We Fail to Boost Our Happiness
If you’ve tried and failed to increase your happiness before, it might not be your fault. Most people who decide they want to be happier don't know where to start.
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It was my last year in college and I needed to take either physics or chemistry to graduate. Both classes required a high-school science course as a prerequisite. I was super nervous because in high-school I had opted not to take these courses. It was with much trepidation that I signed up for Physics. After only 1 week I was completely lost.
Across the semester, I read the text book, went to office hours and attended a study group. Still, I just barely passed the class. I was just utterly unprepared to absorb what I was learning. Without learning those foundational physics skills in high-school, it was near impossible to do well in the course.
My crappy physics grade probably doesn't surprise you. I started the class, not knowing the basics and already way behind the other students. This is why advanced courses require that you take prerequisites, learn foundational skills, or test your knowledge before you can enroll. If you don’t know the basics, you’ll have difficulty absorbing the information that you’re taught. And I was being taught skills way above my skill level.
Now let me ask you this. Have you ever been asked to take prerequisites, learn foundational skills, or test your knowledge before you start a happiness product or service? Most people say no.
If you’ve tried and failed to increase your happiness before, it’s likely not your fault. You were probably being taught skills outside your skill level. If this was the case, you were doomed from the start, just like I was in physics. And this happens all the time.
A lot of happiness products jump right into teaching you really challenging happiness skills. This would be like me trying to teach you calculus before you learn addition.
If I did that, you would be more likely to fail. But your failure would be my fault because expecting you to learn complex happiness skills before you learn the basics is not a good way to teach.
This is why in our happiness program, we always start from the beginning.
You start by developing key foundational happiness skills. You start off on the right foot and can be more successful as a result. So if you need help figuring out where to start with boosting your happiness, check out our happiness program.
About Dr. Tchiki Davis
Dr. Davis is founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. After getting her PhD in psychology at Berkeley, she started creating online content & programs to boost well-being—some of these have reached more than a million people. As author of Outsmart Your Smartphone, and contributor to Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and Shine Text, Dr. Davis aims to share her insights on happiness & health with people all across the world. Learn more about Dr. Davis.