The Pursuit of Happiness2022-11-27

Happiness depends upon ourselves.


Here is a simple physiological analogy for happiness. Happiness occurs when our receptors for happiness are signaling that they are being occupied by their agonist ligands, which are things that make us happy. You can thus be happy by improving the occupancy of the receptors, i.e., by achieving the things that make you happy. Or you can be happy by increasing the sensitivity and signaling from the receptors, even when they are not fully occupied, by being grateful for what you have in your life.

The lesson is that if your receptors for happiness are very sensitive to the ligands, you can be happy even in modest circumstances. If they are not sensitive, even an abundance of achievements will not make you happy. You are needing to achieve more and more just to maintain happiness, are dependent on achievement, and go through withdrawal symptoms if you stop achieving.

For a successful and satisfied life, improve both receptor occupancy and receptor sensitivity.

Live. Happier. Longer.