more happiness please
February 25, 2008
Why, when we can choose any level of happiness, do so many of us choose something less – often much less – than bliss? Most of us – most of you reading this blog – lived truly charmed lives. And yet we choose other emotions like sadness, frustration, envy, disappointment.
So asks Lisa over at Management Craft. I don’t believe we can control our feelings .. neither do I really believe we can control our emotions. I also have to admit to being somewhat sceptical of the ‘happiness industry’ that’s blooming right now. I simply don’t believe that applying a cognitive frame to our emotional lives works. So much of what we feel is generated in work environments where there are socially negotiated ‘rules’ about what emotion is acceptable/preferable in that setting. Organisations are emotional and emotion generating environments – if my team wins a contract and I’m happy is that because I’m a happy person and brought that to work with me this morning or is it as a result of something that happened at work? Likewise with other emotions. Splitting off happiness as something we can have more of by excluding the rest of the emotional spectrum doesn’t fit with any frame of reference I know – short of sublimating or splitting it really doesn’t work.