Happiness Is an Empty Promise
Happiness Is an Empty Promise

Happiness Is an Empty Promise

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the faster it flies away – Steven Hayes

I want to show you a great video of prof. Steven C. Hayes: A scientific profile who has contributed to the field of psychology over his lifetime career. He developed the therapeutic model Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which just recently reached a 1000 mark, namely 1000 published ACT studies. That’s a lot of research hours.

The theoretical basis of ACT is the Relational Frame Theory (RFT) which he also developed. About 300 studies have tested RFT showing its significance and empirical foundation. I am going to do another article on RFT at another time. Here, I just want to point to some of his impressive work.

Anyway, by researching Steven Hayes, I stumbled upon his talk “Happiness Is an Empty Promise” published by Big Think. I really recommend that you watch it yourself.

Below is some of his key points on happiness. Of course, in order to illustrate his points clearly, he makes clear-cut differentiations:

In Western culture, we have a wrong model of happiness, namely the feel-good definition of happiness.

The Ancient greeks had a another definition of happiness, Eudamonia: Living well, instead of feeling good. He argues that this way of living is more sustainable and in line with the human nature. It is a value-based way of living: A life of integrity and fidelity to yourself and what you most deeply care about.

The Buddhist’ way of living well is finding the middle path between indulgence and supression.

The Western perspective of happiness, and also the Western industry, encourage us to feel good by different means, for example by indulgence of nice material things, cultivation of positive thoughts and emotions, and suppression of bad emotions.

Take a look at it here.