In his book “How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big” the famous cartoonist Scott Adams says: “The only reasonable goal in life is maximizing your total lifetime experience of something called happiness.” I like this book for its simple and practical advice. Here I am paraphrasing some points from Scott Adams’ book about happiness:
• The definition of happiness is a feeling you get when your body chemistry is producing pleasant sensations in your mind.
• The single biggest trick for manipulating your happiness chemistry is being able to do what you want, when you want.
• Step one for your search for happiness is to continually work toward having control of your schedule.
• Happiness has more to do with where you are heading than where you are.
• Happiness is not a mystery of the mind and it’s not magic. Happiness is the natural state for most people whenever they feel healthy, have flexible schedules, and expect the future to be good.
• In summary, to be happy: eat right, exercise, get enough sleep, do things you can steadily improve at (such as learning an instrument or sport), imagine an incredible future, work toward a flexible schedule, help others, and reduce daily decisions to routine.
Below are some points (paraphrased) from Harvard Professor Daniel Gilbert book, “Stumbling on Happiness”:
• Like so many thinkers, Adam Smith, the father of modern economics, believed that people want just one thing—happiness—hence economies can blossom and grow only if people believe that the production of wealth will make them happy. If people hold this false belief then they will do enough producing, procuring and consuming to sustain their economies. In short, the production of wealth can grow the economy but it does not necessarily make individuals happy.
• Economists and psychologists have generally concluded that wealth increases human happiness when it lifts people out of abject poverty and into the middle class, but does little to increase happiness thereafter. Americans who earn $50,000 per year are much happier than those who earn $10,000 per year. But Americans who earn $5 million per year are not much happier than those who earn $100,000 per year.
Jonathan Haidt, psychologist and author of The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom says: “Just as sharks need to swim so that water flows over their gills, humans need goals.” Humans seek “vital engagements” in three areas of our lives: in our person, in our work, and in something larger than ourselves.
So if you have a passion for IT and aptitude for an IT career (check ComputerAptitude.com), imagine a future as an IT Professional or IT Consultant with flexible hours. To predict your future income and happiness more accurately, do not just depend on your imagination (which can be deceiving sometimes), check what PC AGE grads are doing and Department of Labor statistics (average salary for Network Administrators is $77,810; Information Security Analyst is $90,120). Set goals to become CompTIA, Microsoft and Cisco certified in just 9-12 months. Like a shark, you will experience happiness not only when you graduate, but right now when you start your journey at the school.
“Within one week after I finished PC AGE, I got an offer with a huge company… making $20/hr. I’m only 18.”
– PC AGE Grad 2014
“I’m a Junior Network Admin and at $65K. I’m only 21.”
– PC AGE Grad 2013
“I started a new job as Network Admin. I’m at $72K.”
– PC AGE Grad 2012
“I am a Senior Technology Analyst at $88K a year!”
– PC AGE Grad 2013
“I worked in one of the largest pharmaceutical companies and became IT Manager making in six figures.”
– PC AGE Grad 1999
PC AGE Career Institute
More from Haidt about Happiness
The Equation – Haidt has a formula for understanding happiness: H = S + C + V.
H stands for Happiness. S is for “set point”, your innate level of happiness, which has a strong genetic component. People born with a high set point tend to be happy by nature (Haidt says they’re winners of the “genetic lottery”), while people born with a low set point tend towards depression and have to work harder to be happy. Cognitive therapy and drugs like Prozac are good equalizers for people born with low set points. C stands for the Conditions of your life, like your friends, family, loves, work, where you live, whether you’re rich or poor, etc. V is for voluntary activities, which include meditation, hobbies, spiritual strivings, creative outlets, etc. The C and V parts of the equation are complicated and open to interpretation.