by Dion Damen, 4th year student at AMSIB*
Two weeks ago I started an online course on www.coursera.org named 'A life of Happiness and Fulfillment'. The reason why I started this course is because attaining happiness is something everybody is aiming for. Even though the world is full of different nationalities, cultures, and people, in the end, (arguably) every human being on earth is aiming for a happy life. I wanted to increase my knowledge about this topic because everybody aims for happiness, yet not everybody knows the theory behind achieving it.
The course is divided over 6 weeks. In each week the teacher (Dr. Rajagopal Raghunathan) explains 1 of the 7 sins of happiness. These sins are common factors that people do that stand in the way of people's happiness without them realizing that.
The first sin of happiness was the devaluing of happiness. This means that people tend to sacrifice happiness for the sake of other things. When I first heard about this sin I thought to myself 'people who do that are crazy!'. However, after Dr Raj. explained this sin more, I realized; I devaluated my happiness as well...
I found out I sometimes devaluate my own happiness for the sake of being right.
It felt very confronting to analyze myself in this situation, and I actually felt a little bit embarrassed for the way I acted. Already in the first week of this course I have learned to not sacrifice my happiness for the sake of other things, such as being right.
However, we do not only devalue happiness for the sake of being right. We do it for a lot of other things as well. I try to think twice in a lot of situations now, whether I make the right choices, and I must say that putting happiness first is a good way to start an even happier life.
* AMSIB = Amsterdam School of International Business