Pursuit of Happiness

A relevant article was brought to me by the Bulletin Brief, a news digest that is compiled for staff and faculty at U of T:

Why does the pursuit of happiness make us feel unhappy?

Sam Maglio is the author, and an assistant professor in the department of management at U of T Scarborough. His research looks into the elusive pursuit of happiness, and was published in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

“The annoying thing about happiness for people interested in pursuing it is that it can be such a moving target,” says Maglio. “Happiness is something that everyone wants a little bit more of, but there’s no clearly defined end state for when you’ve got it.”

I enjoy that he shares effective strategies, like keeping a gratitude journal (or, a blog!), and provides some great insights. “Many people dwell on this problem of thinking they are not happy enough or they could be doing more to pursue it. But one thing that our research illuminates is that everyone feels this way a little bit.”

Thanks, Sam.



While waiting for a rather late bus to take me home yesterday afternoon, the sunshine I had been basking in abruptly disappeared behind some clouds and rain began to fall. I was annoyed; I just wanted to get home. My phone was dead, I was tired and cranky – and now I was going to get soaked? Phooey! But then I realized that the rain was warm, and the air a soothing breeze, so I decided to let myself get wet without a care. Moments later the rain stopped as fast as it begun and the sunshine returned – and along with it, a beautiful, perfect rainbow materialized right in front of me that I could see end to end. It felt like it was just for me, and made me happy as can be. Just a typical day. Life’s a trip, folks!