Finding More Through Less

Dear Friends,

Last week we announced our collaboration with WOHASU – the World Happiness Summit – in preparation for their conference in March. WOHASU’s theme this year is Resilience which seems particularly timely given that we may finally be moving towards a post pandemic life. As we begin to traverse this new reality, you may be thinking some of the following questions:

What will post pandemic life look like?

Have we learned anything in these past few years?

While only time will tell in answering these questions, we know that resilience will play a central role in determining the way we experience extrinsic pleasure. In the next few weeks we will be talking more about resilience – the ability to keep getting up when life pushes you down. One way of doing this is through enacting an inner dialogue with yourself when you find yourself in a moment of pure joy, asking yourself where this happiness originates. Hamide Eygoren’s photo does just this:

Mystery of Bubbles by Hamide Eygoren
In the photo, my lovely daughter is making bubbles in a science museum. We had so much fun while making and playing with bubbles that day. I’m curious why bubbles make people happy.

When you experience joy, how often do you anticipate it? Do you find yourself always thinking about the next thing that you want, or do you lean into life’s unexpected moments like Hamide and her daughter? If you would like to learn more about the source of your satisfaction, we can’t recommend enough the following article by one of our favorite writers, Arthur Brooks:

Arthur writes that one of the keys to happiness is simply being satisfied with what you have- Want less, be satisfied with the little things, give away things you don’t use, become a “sage rather than a prince”, that is, give of your wisdom and help others instead of accumulating more stuff for your self.

We love this message, and one thing the pandemic has forced us to think about is how we can do/have “less” than we used to. Maybe there are some teachings here for how we go forward so that we take our hard-earned lessons with us and build more resilience in the process.


The SeeingHappy Team

Roger Irwin

Roger Irwin is passionate about understanding the intersection of the arts and human development. He is researching how media intake and creativity based interventions can help people explore their strengths. He is a candidate for the Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania.

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