I’ve noticed that I am particularly happy when I spend a lengthy period of time on a subject—when I become engrossed by it. Doing this makes me feel as though my mind is fully utilized. An engaged mind is less distracted by the worries and fears that serve to perpetually assault it.
I become happier through sustained engagement. This keeps me mentally elevated, alert and content. I am able to work through the moments of my time without raising my cortisol levels, without causing oxidative damage to my tissues, without the passage via the flight or fight response.
As I reflect upon how many times I allow little actions to fritter away my time—clicking on this or that site, rechecking my email again and again, I realize that I could have used this time more wisely…more efficiently.
I could have divided this time up and assigned it to specific uses. Jumping from one activity to the next shows a poor attention span—an inability to focus. Ultimately, these actions add up and waste my days. I learn very little when I employ this sort of behavior and I deprive myself of the sustained happiness that I am ultimately seeking. The question becomes, “How can I actually learn to focus better and what should I focus on?”
To learn more about this subject of focus, I have recently purchased the 2013 book “Focus” by Daniel Goleman. I think that the idea of focus is going to be a big issue in the next 50 years and beyond. The more and more people I meet, the more I hear the string of words “Attention Deficit Disorder” and how "He/She suffers with attention deficit disorder." or "I suffer with attention deficit disorder."
More meandering thoughts...
The subject that I know is guaranteed to capture the attention of almost any human being on earth is the subject of money, and, more specifically, making it quickly. Only slightly lower on the list of things we want is general success in life.
But why do we crave money and success so badly? Now this is the question.
One of the fundamental reasons why people desire money is that it brings more options to their lives. It allows them to have material objects and experiences as well as additional time that they would otherwise be unable to have. And, because certain possessions and experiences are beneficial to making a person feel happy and motivated, a person becomes more inclined to initiate creative pursuits such as hobbies, building a small business, starting their music or art career, deep sea diving or probing the depths of literature, philosophy and history.
Knowing that we have so many options—that not only can we survive, but we can thrive is a reward all in itself.
People pursue things like money by purchasing lottery tickets or attempting get-rich-quick schemes. We all have a much harder time going down the difficult path of working to support ourselves, learning a particular trade or skill, or, using our spare time on tricks and business endeavors that could possibly yield more financial return in the future.