A QUICK PREVIEW
But before we detail each of the Fundamentals, it is appropriate to provide a general preview of the entire listing. To do this, let’s breifly overview each of the Fourteen Fundamentals now (and also provide a bit of background into each), so that you see the overall strategy of what’s to come.
Fundamental One: Be More Active and Keep Busy
One of the most obvious things that emerged from the happiness research data over the years is how active happy people tend to be and how much they have going on in their lives.
Fundamental One, therefore, is based on this research finding. Happy people are extremely active people. They are remarkably busy, they’re always doing something, they’re always on the go. Happy people seem to pack a lot more into their day, than do most average people. Unhappy individuals, in contrast, waste a large amount of their time and never seem to get around to doing much. Their lives are relatively inactive, habitual, and boring.
The next chapter will present this Fundamental in detail. There, we will find that happy people not only outstrip most of us in terms of the sheer quantity of activity, but also in it’s quality — and discover a certain “essence” to their active lifestyle” that eludes most other people. In addition, our discussion of Fundamental #1 will reveal the five, specific types of activities happy people spend most of their time in.
Fundamental 2: Spend More Time Socializing
The second Fundamental, “Spend More Time Socializing,” is based on the strong, social theme that has been clearly drawn throughout the research we covered in Volume I of this diad. More than anything else, an active and rewarding social life appears to have a major impact on personal happiness. As we’ve seen previously: more than success, more than income, more than a lot of “good times” — indeed, more than any other factor — warm, social ties contribute the most to happiness.
The chapter on Fundamental Two, therefore, will concentrate on the specific social factors which contribute so much to happiness.
Fundamental Three: Be Productive At Meaningful Work
Fundamental Three emphasizes that happiness can be enhanced if one can “Be Productive At Meaningful Work.”
When we examine this Fundamental, we’ll see that there are two key elements to it: “productivity” and “meaning.”
“Productivity” acknowledges a life of continued growth and expansion, not only in thems of long-term achievements, but in the everyday steps which lead to them. It also acknowledges that long periods of non-productivity can easily cause one to fall into depression. “Meaning,” on the other hand, suggests the importance of finding purpose and significance in one’s life through one’s job or avocations.
As we shall discover when we examine this Fundamental later: those who find a productive and meaningful way to live, will find one of the richest and most abiding sources of personal happiness in their life, as well.