“Attaining lasting happiness requires that we enjoy the journey on our way toward a destination we deem valuable. Happiness, therefore, is not about making it to the peak of the mountain, nor is it about climbing aimlessly around the mountain: happiness is the experience of climbing toward the peak.”
- Tal Ben-ShaharTweet It!
Harvard professor Tal Ben-Shahar taught one of the most popular classes in the university's history — Positive Psychology 1504.
Of all the nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned from his book, Happier, what has stuck with me most is the way he breaks down his "Happiness Model" into four mindsets — with the fourth being the optimal.
If you are more of a visual thinker, here it is mapped out (please excuse my chicken scratch handwriting 😉 ):
So with this table as reference, here are the four mindsets he described:
- The Rat Race mindset focuses exclusively on the benefits of the future, even if it is to the detriment of the present moment. People with this mindset are unable to enjoy, much less see, the wonderful things happening around them right now.
- The Hedonist is on the opposite end of the spectrum. People with this mindset go full tilt on doing whatever seems fun or enjoyable right now, even if it is to the detriment of their future.
- The Nihilist sees benefit in neither the future nor the present. Nothing is going well now and nothing is going to go well in the future. Yeah, it’s a rough place to be.
- The Happy Person falls in the fourth quadrant. With this mindset, we allow ourselves to make ambitious plans for the future but still enjoy the journey.
What state of mind are you in?
Begin your day feeling grounded and inspired.
A free 30-day email series where we share the most impactful stories and ideas that have helped us on our journey to live a more meaningful life.
✌️ Free. Unsubscribe anytime.
“I’m in the midst of big life transitions at the moment, chasing book deals, relocating, taking risks, carving out a life that feels honest, so your emails have been a perfectly timed source of inspiration and reassurance.” Jo in London, Great Britain
"Love the emails! They are a great reset or what I would call mindful chiropractic adjustment to approaching the day. Thank you!" Laurie in Albuquerque, New Mexico
"I love the emails. They give me a new perspective and things to think about and apply in my life." Monica in Johannesburg, South Africa
"It's food for the soul and sets my spiritual compass in the right direction." Farahdiva Samsul in Assam, India
"Absolutely LOVE the daily emails. One of the only email subscriptions I read daily. Keep them coming!!" Adriana in New York, New York
"The emails are thought-provoking and uplifting. A little pause from the crazy happenings of modern life. A quick chance to reflect, smile, and think about a life lived mindfully." Pharan in Queensland, Australia
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the Mindfully Mailed series. Daily I await this little nugget of goodness to hit my inbox each day." Tambria in Shreveport, Louisiana
Welcome to Holstee
Our monthly membership helps conscious people (like you!) live a more meaningful life through actionable guide, inspiring art, thought-provoking content and a like-minded community.BECOME A MEMBER →
This article is part of our series on the theme of Welcome.EXPLORE Welcome →
Distilled from our Manifesto, positive psychology, the science of mindfulness, and ancient philosophic studies we have identified twelve themes core to living both fully and mindfully. We mapped these twelve themes to each of the twelve months in a year. Together with our community we explore one each month.VIEW OUR THEMES →