Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness

One of the basic tenets of human existence is the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit of happiness often comes concurrently with the pursuit of knowledge. We have all heard the saying that “ignorance is bliss,” but I’m of the opinion that bliss actually comes from learning and acquiring new skills.

Think of your childhood and how happy you were when you learned to ride a bike or mastered the multiplication tables. If you are a parent or a teacher, think how happy you are when you impart your knowledge to a child. Seeing a child’s face light up with the joy of learning is one of the happiest feelings of all.

In the field of psychology, five components are important in order to achieve a state of happiness: self-esteem, sense of control, optimism, relationships, and extroversion. Just think how many of those components are related to learning and education.

  • Self-esteem is enhanced by competence and our ability to “do well.”  
  • Control means that we are in the driver’s seat, able to do for ourselves rather than rely on other people.
  • Optimism relates to our outlook on life. We learn to see the glass as half full.
  • Relationships are so important to the learning experience. Think the teacher-student relationship, the parent-child relationship, or the parent-teacher relationship. Positive relationships in all three areas set the stage for better learning.
  • Extroversion means learning to reach out to others. That’s an important component of the education experience. Though some individuals are more prone to introversion (and introverts may have many positive characteristics, too), it is important to be able to reach out sometimes in order to learn and enjoy life to the utmost.)
From our experience, the happiest teachers—and the happiest people in general—are those who continually strive to improve in these five areas. We hope you will consider these five components and do the same to achieve the utmost of happiness in your own lives.

No comments:

Post a Comment