“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"



"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

Some people who have been in prison become good citizens later, and it is often argued that these are the best people to talk to teenagers about the dangers of committing a crime.To what extent do you agree or disagree?


"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

It is true that ex-prisoners can become normal, productive members of our society. I completely agree with the idea that allowing such people to speak to teenagers about their experiences is the best way to discourage them from breaking the law. (第一句话表态;第二句话改写题目并同时表态)


Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.”

In my opinion, teenagers are more likely to accept advice from someone who can speak from experience. Reformed offenders can tell young people about how they became involved in crime, the dangers of a criminal lifestyle, and what life in prison is really like. They can also dispel any ideas that teenagers may have about criminals leading glamorous lives. While adolescents are often indifferent to the guidance given by older people, most of them would be extremely keen to hear the stories of an  ex-offender. The vivid and perhaps shocking nature of these stories is likely to have a powerful impact. (这一段讲reformed offenders的优点)


The alternatives to using reformed criminals to educate teenagers about crime would be much less effective. One option would be for police officers to visit schools and talk to young people. This could be useful in terms of informing teens about what happens to lawbreakers when they are caught, but young people are often reluctant to take advice from figures of authority. A second option would be for school teachers to speak to their students about crime, but I doubt that students would see teachers as credible sources of information about this topic. Finally, educational films might be informative, but there would be no opportunity for young people to interact and ask questions. (段落的第一话指出其他的方式不行。后面列举了三个方式,后面通过转折进行了否定)


Click on any of the boxes in the chart above to take you to the relevant part of this page or clickherefor a larger version of the chart.

In conclusion, I fully support the view that people who have turned their lives around after serving a prison sentence could help to deter teenagers from committing crimes. (根据前面的逻辑,结尾段顺理成章的得出结论。)

An Imprisoned Heart of Warmth; offering prompt help to those who are in trouble,
in distress or in difficulty; 原因之一:When one goes to help someone in a plight, he might be later suspected of causing the trouble in the first place.

Boredom and Happiness at Work

  1. Many people choose their jobs based on the size of the salary offered. Personally, I disagree with the idea that money is the key consideration when deciding on a career, because I believe that other factors are equally important.


Results of a PCP poll for theTDAon 2113 graduates aged 21 to 45.

On the one hand, I agree that money is necessary in order for people to meet their basic needs. For example, we all need money to pay for housing, food, bills, health care, and education. Most people consider it a priority to at least earn a salary that allows them to cover these needs and have a reasonable quality of life. If people chose their jobs based on enjoyment or other non-financial factors, they might find it difficult to support themselves. Artists and musicians, for instance, are known for choosing a career path that they love, but that does not always provide them with enough money to live comfortably and raise a family.

the power of love

Boredom Rating for Graduates (out of 10):

Nevertheless, I believe that other considerations are just as important as what we earn in our jobs. Firstly, personal relationships and the atmosphere in a workplace are extremely important when choosing a job. Having a good manager or friendly colleagues, for example, can make a huge difference to worker’s levels of happiness and general quality of life. Secondly, many people’s feelings of job satisfaction come from their professional achievements, the skills they learn, and the position they reach, rather than the money the earn. Finally, some people choose a career because they want to help others and contribute something positive to society.


Administrative/Secretarial jobs10

In conclusion, while salaries certainly affect people’s choice of profession, I do not believe that money outweigh all other motivations.

mutual help, take pleasure in helping others

Manufacturing jobs8.1


Sales jobs7.8

learn from Lei Feng or not?
offer one’s seat to the weak, old,




 pregnant, etc.;

Science Research & Development7.3



inner beauty; mere physical beauty




moral/morality, throwing litter about, ignoring others’ convenience



Human Resources6.6

Honesty of enterprises, fierce competition, follow the spirit of honesty, essential to a enterprise’s survival and prosperity, build up honesty-oriented society, produce inferior and fake goods,




fake commodities




the consequence of drunk driving

This survey was commissioned by a teaching agency!


Teachers were the least bored. 81 per cent of teachers questioned said it is thechallenge of the role, 81% becauseno two days are the same, and 86% said they enjoy theinteraction with people.  64% also rate the opportunity touse their creativity.

fulfill/do one’s duty

Employees surveyed say they aremainly bored because ofthelack of challengein their jobs (61%),not using their skills or their knowledge60% anddoing the same things every day(50%)The Happiest Professions


According to the City & Guilds Happiness at Work Indexsome of the happiest graduate jobswere (in order):



the role of innovation; innovation is the power of social progress; creativity;



armed forces

innovation; a clone of the original one



leisure & tourism jobs



the tendency of family expenses; changing expenditure proportions; online communication; education; clothes & food; housing




green living; pollution-free vegetables, ecological clothing, return to nature; a life of simplicity; environmentally friendly


  1. 最昂贵的事莫过于浪费
  2. 资源节约

PR & advertising staff

thrift/economy, save/economize, waste, water resources



HR staff

The art of life consists in the art of learning to give up. to appreciate the true value of what we



computing staff

sustainable/harmonious development



Some of the least happy professions were apparently:


social workers

confronted with frustration and hardships

civil servants


estate agents

Share both achievements and failures, share with sb both prosperity and adversity





I'm not sure how reliable this survey is but I'd suspect that some of the factors at work here would bepeople contact, money, job security & autonomy.


So what do we make of the apparent contradictions here? Of course, such surveys are never particularly accurate, and boredom and happiness are different measures.Teachers may be the least bored, but this doesn't necessarily mean that they are particularly happy in their jobs!

Actions speak loudly than words.

A UK Cabinet Office survey in 2014 has assessed the relationship between jobs and levels of life satisfaction.


A moderate link was found between earnings and wellbeing.Some well-paid jobs had low levels of wellbeing and vice versa. For example, despite a typical salary of £39,000, quantity surveyors were the 41st most unhappy occupation out of 274 categories. Farmers earn only £24,500 on average, but had the 8th highest life satisfaction.

perseverance; persistence

People inoutdoor jobstend to be happier.As well as farmers, agricultural and horticultural managers and farm workers are in the top 25.



take the initiative in creating opportunities

(1) Clergy20,568


(2) Chief executives and senior officials117,700

Some maintain that success originates from his diligence and perseverance, whereas others argue that his success is nothing more than a stroke of good luck.

(3) Managers and proprietors in agriculture and horticulture31,721


(4) Company secretaries18,176


(5) Quality assurance and regulatory professionals42,898


(6) Health care practice managers31,267

planning; acting

(7) Medical practitioners70,648


(8) Farmers24,520

desire, unrealistic goals,

(9) Hotel and accommodation managers and proprietors32,470


For the full survey results of all 274 occupations seehere


Don't become a lumberjack!

fair decision

Asurvey by CareerCastfound that lumberjack is the worst job in America due to low pay, high danger and dwindling job opportunities. Journalist was second worst due to closures in the print industry. The best jobs in the US in order were found to be: mathematician, professor, statistician, actuary, audiologist, dental hygienist, software engineer, systems analyst, occupational therapist and speech therapist.




An excellent survey on the well-being of Plymouth University students and graduates by Dr. Glen Crust and Dr. Helen Hicks found thatstudents with the highest well-beingwere those on medical, nursing, pharmacy and teaching courses whereasstudents with the lowest well-beingwere those on finance, law, management and economics courses. You can find the full survey resultshere. Well-being was measured by amalgamating scores for: "how satisfied you are with your life"; "the extent you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile"; "how happy you felt yesterday" and how anxious you felt yesterday (inverse).

the perception of happiness

Occupations with the highest well-beingincluded health professionals such as physiotherapists, nurses, midwives, podiatrists and paramedics, further education teachers, surveyors, accountants and management consultants. As you might expect, graduates who got the type of work they wanted were happier than those who only had one job offer which they had to accept.


Graduates with first class degreeshave on average a higher well-being than those with 2:1s, who have a higher well-being than those with 2:2s and thirds. This may well be because graduates with higher degree classes tend to be in better or more appropriate jobs.Women graduatesreport slightly higher levels of well-being on average andwhite graduateswere found to have higher well-being scores than Black/African/Caribbean/Black British respondents.

Sense of happiness, high salary, misunderstand happiness, lead a luxury life, equate happiness with wealth

Are employees of small businesses and the self-employed more or less satisfied?


A survey by the TUC found thatemployees in small businesses are more satisfied at work. They were also found to be the most committed and loyal to their organisations. They also felt most engaged by their employer andhad the most freedom to choose their working patterns. There were far fewer reports of bullying,lower stress levelsandless complaints about long working hours.


The Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses said "In terms of the way they treat their staff, small businesses consistently out perform their bigger competitors. Small business owners know that the greatest asset is their staff and they are more likely to treat them as individuals and recognise their needs. By having a committed and loyal workforce that has a say in how the organisation is run, the smallest business has a bigger advantage."

Science and technology have brought with them many changes in our way of our living. to be increasingly reliant upon technological inventions such as cars, cellphones or computers

Having said thislarger organisationsdo tend to offer higher initial salaries, better training and more chance to specialise. See our page onWorking in smaller organisations


People who have set up their own business tend to be happier.They take responsibility for their own future, and take control of their own destiny. Self employed people are happier about their work-life balance even though they work the longest hours - because they havemore controlover their time. See ourself employment pagefor more about this.

computer age, hand writing, Chinese character, tradition

Research by Sonya Lyubomirsky (University of California) using data for over 250,000 people found that being happy lead to higher incomes, greater productivity and quality of work, more satisfying and longer marriages, more friends, stronger social support, and richer social interactions, more activity, energy, andflow, and better physical health.


A study in 2007 byNattavudh Powdthaveefound thatmeeting regularly with friends, relatives and neighbours had the same effect on your happiness as a large increase in salary. Being married or living together was also highly beneficial.

cyber space; microblog; communication



Some new research by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).has found that people who spend between an hour and 90 minutes getting to work each day are more miserable than their colleagues. and people travelling by bus are even more unhappy.

青少年自立问题: 大学生缺乏独立性,给父母造成负担。如“啃老”一族

Commuters have on average lower life satisfaction, a lower sense that daily activities are worthwhile, lower levels of happiness and higher anxiety than non-commuters. People who worked from home had higher personal well-being even compared to those who commute for less than a quarter of an hour.

NEET group, referring to people who are
not currently engaged in any form of education, employment and training; the young couple supported by their exhausted parents is sitting idly to reap where they have not sown.

A study at the University of East Angliafound that most commuters prefer taking public transport to driving due to the stress caused from driving to work. ‘Active commuters’ who switch from driving to work to walking or cycling are under less strain, and therefore perform better in the workplace reinforcing the idea that there are positive psychological effects of exercise, plus the physical health benefits. Lead researcher Adam Martin said:“Commuters reported feeling better when travelling by public transport, compared to driving. You might think that things like disruption to services or crowds of commuters might have been a cause of considerable stress. But as buses or trains also give people time to relax, read, socialise, and there is usually an associated walk to the bus stop or railway station, it appears to cheer people up.”


Also see the HR Grapevine article:Commuters want to cry by the time they get to work

family background, hunt for a job, self-struggling for future

Other factors reducing happiness at work include:


Long working hours


"People who value money, more than other goals are less satisfied with their income and with their lives as a whole."

several factors count for a person’s choosing where he resides; opportunities and cost of living income, living conditions, social connections and competition

Prof. Martin Seligman


Materialistic people tend to be more unhappy and dissatisfied with their lives. They tend to be self centered and this is detrimental to happiness. Research found that those who spent a higher proportion of their income on friends, family and others ended up significantly happier than those who treated themselves to luxuries.

What Jobs Do College Graduates Want To Do?

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.

②Which road to take? Where to go?

Gerard Way

  1. The relation between the direction for efforts/endeavor and success
  2. Making choice, making decision, realize success step by step, industrious, undergo challenge and hardship
  3. Adversity VS. choice

Having to relocateto a new area to get a job(as you lose some contact with friends and relatives)


Tight deadlines

dilemma at the crossroads; the road to success

Lack ofcontrol


Being unemployed.

to find the right job

Green spaces


Researchers at the European Centre for Environment and Human Healthfound that living in an urban area with green spaces has a long term positive impact on people's mental well-being. Moving to an area with green spaces had asustained positive effect, whereas pay rises or promotions, only gave a short-term boost to happiness. People living in greener urban areasshow less signs of depression or stress.


Research at the University of Queenslandfound that office plants made staff happier and increased productivity by 15%

common; ordinary; great

How important is money?


The Easterlin Paradox

Self-commitment, dedicate to society, spirit of devotion

The economist Richard Easterlin found a paradox: high incomes do correlate with happiness, butlong term, increased income doesn’t correlate with increased happiness.


Researchers examined 37 countries over the long term (measurements were made over 22 years) and found that happiness ratings within a country didn't increase with income. In China, S. Korea, and Chile, per capitaincome doubled is less than two decades yet all these countries showed slight declines in happiness.Easterlin said"We may need to focus policy on urgent personal concerns such as health and family life, rather than on the mere escalation of material goods."


Money is surprisingly not particularly important once you have enough to meet all your basic requirements.Extra money doesn't make you much happier.A pay rise does make you happy but only for a short while as you quickly become adapted to it. Thisis because we rapidly get used to what we have (see thehedonic treadmillbelow).

a positive attitude towards nourishment

In the UK, life satisfaction has decreased since the 1970’sdespite a 60% rise in Gross Domestic Product in that time, again showing that buying and

Every coin has two sides.

owning consumer goods makes no difference to well being. In1998 Bhutan allowed intelevision and the Internet into the country for the first time (previously they had been banned). This lead to an almost immediately increased craving for a Western lifestyle and products and an increased dissatisfaction with life - see thehedonic treadmill below.

Take a detached attitude toward a thing.

A new job, house or car gives a short term boost, but quickly get accustomed to it. Having your finances under control (e.g. not being in debt) is more important than a large wage, although earning less than most of the people you know also affects your happiness (keeping up with the Joneses). There is a higher occurrence of depression in those who think happiness comes via money, fame, and beauty. People are more motivated by the fear of losing something than the hope of gaining something.


After several years lottery winners revert to their previous levels of happiness.

建设绿色校园:绿色环境 健康人际关系

Winning £1M doesn't add to self esteem, in fact, after a short term boost in happiness most lottery winners go back to their old levels of happiness and sometimes even lower as they no longer have their old goals to aim for. They feel a sense of hollowness that may make them want to work again.


Somerecent researchfound that mice preferred treats that they had to work harder to get suggesting that the old adage;“The harder you work for something, the more you appreciate it.”is true for animals as well as humans!


The real value of money lies in it's power to buy you freedom and security. By saving money you also partially insulate yourself from stress.

Proper family education for children

Money DOES buy:


security ( = greater freedom from stress)

physical and psychological health



more time to enjoy life


greater freedom to do what you want


the chance to educate yourself and to enrich your life, for example, by travel


the ability to help others who have less than you have.


If however after reading this, you do still wish tobecome a millionaire, according to asurvey by Spears and Wealth Insightthe most common degrees to achieve this are, in order:

complain; complaint; can not work properly




  1. Dissatisfaction, roommate’s inconsiderate behavior, apply for a single room
  2. Regular bus rider, unpunctual, uncomfortable, too crowded,





Business Administration

suggest; suggestion; No Smoking; anti-smoking; health; safety




history or computer science, be interested in, offer better job prospects

Computer Science





apply for; application; volunteer; overseas

The best universities to attend to become a millionaire were in order: Harvard, Stanford, California, Columbia, Oxford, MIT, New York, Cambridge, Pennsylvania and Cornell.The universities which dominateare exactly the ones you’d expect, not just because of the quality of the education butbecause of the self-confidence they instill in their students. They also havestrong alumni networks.


HR Grapevine Article:Pilots and engineers earn more than CEOs

apply for; application; hold/ attend a seminar on environmental health



Rewards such as bonusesprovide a short term boost to performance but ultimatelyreduce long term motivation. Performance related pay and the carrot and stick approach havelittle or no long term value in motivating staff.


Research from the Institute of Leadership & Managementfound that few employees said that bonuses motivated them to work harder.

apply for a job; application; doing some job hunting

According to those surveyed the most important motivators were:


59% feltenjoyment of the jobwas the most important motivator

① 作为教授为自己的学生写推荐信
② 作为老板为自己的下属写

49%how much they are paid.

recommend; recommendation

42%getting on with colleagueswas the best motivator


22%being treated fairly by their managers


22%autonomy: how much control they have over their work


Only 13% of employees said thatbonusesmotivated them to work harder.


Getting regular feedback, allowing staff autonomy in their role, the opportunity to innovate and improved office environmentsalso helped

thank; appreciation; grateful; victims who suffered from devastating Wenchuan Earthquake; donation; support; generous; generosity; rebuild; renew

Good managers are key motivators who can make a real difference to their teams. The ‘five fundamentals’ of good management:coaching, giving feedback, listening, rewarding and recognising success and performance management. Something as simple as hearing ‘you've done a really good job on ....’ can strongly boost to an employee’s confidence, deliver a sense of pride and satisfaction and encourage them to put more into their work.

thank for helps in an accident

Part-time workersare more motivated (76%) at work than full-time workers (68%), despite being paid less pro rata (£10,793 a year, less than half of the average salary for a full time employee at £22,328). They are more likely to have a higher level of respect for their manager (57%) than full time colleagues (52%) and a more positive attitude towards their employer (57%) than full time staff (49%).


Women were significantly more motivated than men.For women, enjoying their job is the most important motivator (64% chose it as one of their top three), followed by ‘how well I get on with people’ (44%) and base salary (41%), while men chose base salary and benefits (58%) as the most important factor, then enjoying their job (53%) and how well they get on with colleagues (41%).


Those under 30 are more financially motivatedthan their older colleagues, and are more likely to currently be in a job where they receive financial incentives for work. Some 55% of under 30’s indicated that money was either very or pretty important to them, compared to 43% of over 30’s. 12% of under 30s said that money is the root of all happiness compared to 9% of over 30s.


Two thirds (61%) of employees said their workplace had anappraisal system,but a quarter of respondents (25%) think that appraisals are performed poorly by their manager. Appraisals are less effective at driving the performance and motivation among female employees.

recruit; volunteer; Love Association

Sensory pleasures


Many people confuse happiness with sensual or sensory pleasures:those obtained from alcohol, food, sex, drugs, money and sun drenched beaches! Sensual pleasures are highly enjoyable whilst they last but tend to be short lived. They are a quick hit. They produce atemporary, ephemeral lift: instant but transient and superficial gratification.The high doesn't last and eventually becomes unfulfilling: rather like eating chocolate but nothing else: wonderful at first, but ultimately unsustainable. It has also been called "Hollywood happiness".


A study byresearchers at McGill Universityfound that dopamine (a neurotransmitter in the brain

car-free campaign; “green commuters” campaign.

All the desirable things in life are either illegal, expensive or fattening or married to someone else.


Too many people buy things they don't need, with money they haven't got, to impress people they don't like.


responsible for good moods) is released when you listen to music you enjoy. Even when you have listened to it many times, it can still arouse feelings of euphoria and craving.

microblog; making an appeal for help for a patient suffering from a serious illness; soliciting contributions

The Hedonic Treadmill Problem


“Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.


The problem with sensual pleasures is something called theHedonic treadmill.The high you get via sensual pleasures is produced by dopamine; a brain neurotransmitter associated with addiction: the pleasure you get is rapid but unfortunately doesn't last long - youneed more and bigger hits to achieve same effect: more alcohol, drugs or whatever. It's called this because it's similar to a treadmill where you have to keep running just to stay in the same place. If you experience a constant sound, smell or image it eventually disappears from your awareness.We quickly become familiar with new sources of pleasure and so the pleasure lessens:enjoyment quickly fades as we get same experience every day.

ask sb. to do sth.; update the data file

This leads to avicious circle of desirewith a negative comedown afterwards: the bigger stomach you get or the increased bills can lead to you despising yourself. You therefore need to increase the dose or move to a new source.


Advertisers have a vested interest in keeping the treadmill in place.We are constantly bombarded with adverts telling us we can "save money" by buying something new, which is nonsensical if you think about it! Our consumer society constantly encourages us to spend leading to increased materialism and we have been turned into "desiring machines". We keep comparing ourselves with others to reinforce our identity.


A new study byresearchers at McGill Universityfound thatdopamine is also released when you listen to musicyou enjoy. Even when you have listened to it many times, it can still arouse feelings of euphoria and craving!


The hole of wanting can never be filled, except momentarily, by the objects of its wanting.


As soon as an aspiration or object is gained, I learn quickly to discount its importance and another replaces it.

咨询信:①to study in a foreign university
②to visit an exhibition

David Brandon

  1. Ask about accommodation and fees, possible scholarships, qualifications for admission, etc.
  2. Ask for information about the contents of the exhibition, the dates of opening and closing and if any discounts available.

How to break the treadmill


You've already made the first step: justunderstanding the treadmilland how it works is an important start.

通知:a Music Festival

Try toavoid sources of temptation: turn off the adverts on TV for example, or watch them analytically to see how they work on you.

Enrich campus life, all kinds of music, pop songs, classical and folk music, play musical instruments, famous bands

Try toseparate what you want(desire)from what you really need(essentials). You may find that well over half of the things you buy are in the first group!


Also see the BBC articleShopping: The new tactics to get you spending


Those three things - autonomy, complexity and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether our work fulfills us.

congratulate; congratulation

Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers


What motivates us at work?


Happy people tend to be successful at work, but surprisingly it's not your success that causes you to be happy, conversely it's your being happy which tends to cause your success.


Research has identified the following factors which make us happy at work:




Autonomy meanshaving somecontrol over your work:managing your own timeandmaking decisionson what you do when. Employees who have control over the tasks they have to do have greater job satisfaction and lead more fulfilling lives. People really dislike being told what to do考试 1

invite; invitation

Self employed peoplearehappier about their work-life balanceeven though they work the longest hours - because they havemore control over their time.They take responsibility for their own future, and take control of their own destiny.


People working forsmaller organisationsalso tend to be happier.


Studies have suggested that autonomy is twenty times better at predicting happiness than income.People with high income but little autonomy are usually much less happy than people with a low income but control over what they do, so if you can find ways of controlling your life, you can be happy even on a low income.Autonomy is also related to health:the Whitehall Studystudy found that Civil Servants at lower grades had much poorer health than those at higher grades who had more control over their work.

The paper centers/focuses on …



Masterymeans being able to use and improve the skills that you enjoy using: see ourStrengths pagefor more about this.

    更多信息请访问:新浪考研频道 考研论坛

People find it gratifying to exercise control.Our brains want to control the experiences we are about to have.Being effective - changing things, influencing things, making things happen - is one of the fundamental needs; with which human brains seem to be naturally endowed. Our desire for control is so powerful and the feeling of being in control so rewarding that people often act as though they can control the uncontrollable. The feeling of control …. is one of the wellsprings of mental health.


Professor Daniel Gilbert

This is related to being involved in"Flow" activities(see below) where we feel completely immersed in the activity.


Purposeinvolves making a difference, understanding that what you do has value and having goals that you believe in (see below).

Other factors which contribute to happiness and motivation

Having avarietyof tasks to do.

Gettingpositive feedback on your performance.

Having challenges which stretch you(but not to the point where you get highly stressed!).

Being able to work on a product or service from start to finishe.g. a builder who builds a house.

Havingfriends at work.

Working in an environment that allows you to focus on your workwithout being distracted.Open plan offices tend to be bad for this!

Living close to where you work. The longer your commute to work, the less happy you are likely to be, and people who are able towalk or cycle to workare likely to be even happier: the exercise they get will have an impact but also the lack of stress of sitting in traffic jams or waiting for a late train. In short, they are in control of their journey to work.

Purpose: pursuing a cause that contributes to the greater good.

“Work is about a search for daily meaning as well as daily bread"Studs Terkel

Setting yourself concrete goals to help others makes you happier!

A study byBruce Headey ( University of Melbourne)found that people who placed a higher priority onaltruistic behaviours and family goalshad a long-term increase in life satisfaction. Those who prioritisedcareer and material success, however, experienced a lasting decline.

People with partners who scored highly on tests for neuroticism were more likely to be and to stay unhappy as long as the relationship lasted.

People who attended church regularly were on average happier than people who were not religious. Women reported being significantly less happy if obese whereas being overweight had no effect on men's happiness!

Those only are happy who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way.

John Stuart Mill

Researchers at Stanford Universityfound that setting goals to help others that are achievable gives you a greater sense of satisfaction that having an abstract concept of helping others. Givers experience greater happiness if they have concrete, specific goals of benevolence: making someone smile or increasing recycling rather than similar but abstract goals such as like making someone happy or saving the environment. This is because when you pursue concrete goals, your expectations of success are more likely to be met. Jennifer Aaker, the lead researcher said:'A prosocial act can not only boost the happiness of the recipient, but it can boost the happiness of the giver as well.'Pursuing happiness without clearly defined goals can actually make us more unhappy due to unrealistic expectations.

We want to feel that we matter and that we make a difference, that we are contributing to something worthwhile and doing what is "right". There is a direct brain-based link between helping others and happiness. Finding meaning in what you do giveslong term inner satisfaction. When we think what we do matters we feel that we are being productive and useful.

Jobs which give you a strong sense of purpose include teacher, doctor, nurse, fire officer, careers adviser, priest and nature reserve warden.

Having a job or activity which embodies yourvaluesis important. There is a saying that :

you do a job for the money

you do a career - for the status,

Random acts of kindness.

After having heart surgery and losing someone close from cancer Luke Cameron decided to do a good deed every day which he has kept in anonline diary.“We all need help sometimes and giving a little extra hand to those people who need and deserve it most is the aim of the diary."Deeds have included donating items to charity shops, giving food to the homeless, donating to buskers, paying for meals for strangers, helping friends with problems, making customers at work laugh and buying friends impromptu coffees. He hopes to inspire others to give rather than receive but has found that he has gained far more in happiness himself than the people he has given to.

but you do acalling or vocation(e.g. the priesthood) because you care: you would do it even if you weren't paid. A key element of a calling is the belief that your work makes the world a better place.

People who pursue goals late in life (e.g. by continuing to work) tend to live longer than those who opt for a life of leisure.

Data from 11,000 US workersshowed that the strongest predictor of meaningfulness at work was the belief that the job had a positive impact on others.

Doing something for those less well of than yourself is also an excellent cure for self pity. "By making someone else happy you secure your own happiness".

This could involve:

Improving yourself:getting fit, losing weight or improving your mind by studying.

Helping others:supporting your family and friends. It's not what you take out of relationships that counts, it's what you put in. People who try to help friends, family and community tend to live longer.

At a conference the organiser held an icebreaker activity with 80 delegates. Each person was given a balloon and was asked to write his or her name on it using a marker pen. The balloons were then collected and put into another room.

The delegates were then let into the room and told to find the balloon with their own name on it within 100 seconds. Everyone frantically searched for their name, colliding with other delegates, pushing each other around and causing chaos. After 100 seconds few people had found their own balloon.

The exercise was repeated but this time each delegate was asked to randomly collect a balloon and give it to the person whose name was written on it. Within the allotted time everyone had their own balloon.

The speaker then summarised how this parallels our lives: everyone is looking for happiness but doesn't know where to find it. Our happiness lies in the happiness of others. By helping others to find their happiness; you may also find your own.

Improving the world:this could be a social or anenvironmentalgoal such as voluntary work at a nature reserve:fundraising for a charityor helping the homeless or starving people in adeveloping country.

See ourvoluntary work pagefor lots of ideas on how to get involved.

"Alfredo Moser is a modern-day Thomas Edison, whose invention is lighting up the world. In 2002, the Brazilian mechanic had his own light-bulb moment and came up with way of illuminating his house during the day without electricity - using nothing more than plastic bottles filled with water and a tiny bit of bleach.In the last two years his idea has spread throughout the world. It is expected to be in one million homes by early next year."Seewww.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23536914for the full story.


Flow is the state reached when we are so immersed in an activity that we cease to notice the passage of time and have deep, effortless involvement.Time seems to stop. Our happiness is greatest at such times. Sports people call this "being in the zone" and mystics as being in an ecstatic state. It is the full involvement in flow, rather than happiness achieved from sensory pleasures that makes for excellence in life. It produces deep, long lasting satisfaction, rather than temporary cheerfulness.

Activities where we use and improve our skills produce flow

This could involve acquiring a new skill or improving one you already have:learning a language, improving yourcomputing skillsor playing a musical instrument or sport, improving your cooking skills, successfully mending your car, DIY, creating art or craft works, learning to dance and successfully growing plants.

Hot Courseswww.hotcourses.comis a database of almost all courses in the UK which can be searched by location or type of course.

Enjoying doing something you are good at:you feelyou are doing exactly what you most enjoy doingand don't want it to finish. Identifying yourstrengthsandskillsand then using and improving these in your work, relationships and leisure interests gives a deep and lasting source of satisfaction. It makes you forget all your worries, and gives you a great sense of control and the satisfaction of a job well done.

there may be a rapid learning curve.

it involve concentration.

It involves a challenge: it will stretch our mind or body.

Activities where we set and achieve goals produce flow**

This involves becoming immersed in trying to reach a challenging goal. See ouraction planningpage for tips on setting and achieving goals.

The secret is to have goals that are

clear andrequire appropriate responses

broken down into clearly defined steps.

compatible with what we want

you get feedbackon your performance: for example in a game you know immediately whether you've won or lost orbeing thankedfor what you have done.

which require effort and stretch us,so they keep us engaged and allow us to improve our skills: joining a new club, starting a hobby, sport or career.

problems need to be solvedbut not so difficultthat we give up in despair: you have a good chance of success. If the challenge exceeds our skill level, we simply become more anxious.

effort and disciplineare required: you may need tolearn how topersist when things get tough.

skill is required:you may need to develop your skills to be successful. Choose activities that fit your personality, values, abilities. Think of what you already enjoy doing and do something similar.

you feel a sense of control

Thelearninginvolved means that your brain is fed with constantly changing positive experiences that prevent thehedonic treadmillfrom turning.

Life satisfaction is greatest for those involved in short term goals which are enjoyable, not too difficult; and done in cooperation with others. Focus on one objective at a time and always have the next goal in mind. To accomplish more difficult tasks,break them down into components.The most satisfaction comes from pursuing an objective, not simply from achieving it. - Ari Kiev

Zig Ziglar quotes

Money won't make you happy: but everybody wants to find out for themselves.

Unless you have a definite, precise, clearly set goals, you are not going to realize your maximum potential.

You can have everything in life that you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.

It’s almost easier to come second because then you still have something to aim for. When you win, you suddenly feel lost. You buy a shiny car, only to glimpse it’s superficiality. You win a promotion, only to find the job was not all you dreamed of. Even Olympic winners fall victim to an echoing sense of anticlimax: they have nothing more to aim for. Evolution makes us feel miserable after triumph, so we can disengage and focus on the next challenge. If goal fulfillment induced indefinite periods of contentment, we would be robbed of all future motivation.

Taken from "Bounce", by Michael Syed

Surprisingly flow is more likely to occur at work than in your free time.A job that ticks the following boxes is usually called aCareer!.

The work has clear goals and rules of performance.

You get feedback on your performance: increased sales or feedback from customers or your manager.

A good work environment should encourage concentration and minimise distractions

The difficulty of the work should match your skills (unless you've been over or under-promoted!).

Research atMassachusetts Hospitalfound that an 8 week course of half an hour a day inmindfulness meditationled to structural changes in the brain. Mindfulness meditation focuses on non-judgmental awareness of sensations & feelings.

Brain scans were taken of 16 participants before & after the training. Increases in density in the hippocampus (responsible for learning and memory) were found & decreased density in the amygdala (responsible for anxiety & stress responses), showing that the way we feel (calm or anxious) can be correlated with real structural indicators in the brain.

Meditating doesn't just give a sense of peace & relaxation, but appears to give benefits in mental & emotional well-being, memory, sense of self, empathy & reduced stress that persist long term.Regular meditators have reduced levels of negative emotion, increased well being and contentment and improved immune responses.reductions in reactivity, anxiety and depressive symptoms. Mindfulness-based treatments appear to provide antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects, as well as decreases in psychological distress.

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.

Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, & not bothering.

Winnie the Pooh!

There is more to life than increasing its speed.


Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.

Natalie Goldberg

Flow is often experienced in games such as chess or football because they havegoals and rules that make it possible for the player to act without questioning what should be done, and how.For the duration of the game the player lives in a self-contained universe where everything is black and white.

考试,Flow is rarely experienced in passive leisure activities, such as watching television or relaxing.Reading booksleads to a lot of flow experiences whereas watching television rarely produces flow.

Flow activities need an initial investment of effort before they start to become enjoyable. If you are tired, anxious, or lack the self discipline to overcome that hurdle, you may go for relaxation rather than flow activities. You need some time to do nothing; relax on a sunny beach reading a novel, or just watching TV but it should be in proportion.

Holidayscan help to clear your mind & to look at your situation from a new perspective. Getting rid of all the unused junk in your home to produce a tidy, uncluttered environment, can also help.

Relationshipscan of course also have a profound effect on your happiness but this is dependent on the whims of your partner. Flow happiness is of our own making.

Flow can also be achieved via prayer or meditation -being in the moment. Flow can even be achieved when doing routine tasks: doing the washing up or peeling potatoes, if we approach these tasks with a state ofmindfulness(total absorption in the task to do it as well as we possibly can). See the Zen saying "Chop wood, carry water!" (see box on right.)

Lowerblood pressure which is related to your state of relaxationis also correlated with happiness. There is increasing evidence that Vitamin D helps to lower blood pressure. Average blood pressure is lower in Ireland, Holland, Denmark and Sweden than in Germany and Portugal and people have been found to be happier in the first group of countries than the latter.

Blanchflower and Oswald, Journal of Health Economics

Flow is not always positive.Gambling can put you into a flow state, and if not controlled it can have addictive tendencies: for example, a workaholic may neglect other aspects of their lives such as their families

For more on flow see the research done byMihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow usually occurs when you are doing your favorite things

playing team games or sports

games such as chess, tennis, or poker or computer games

playing a musical instrument or listening to music

painting, pottery, writing poetry, music or a computer program

collecting coins or stampsmaking clothes

growing plants

inventing something

religious ritual

climbing a mountain

watching a sunset

cooking a nice meal

driving down a country lane

feeding birds or fish

talking to friends

reading a good bookResearch in the US found that teenagers experienced flow in

sports & games 44% of time spent

hobbies 34%

watching television 13%

Yet these teenagers spent four times more of their free time watching TV than involved in hobbies or sports.

Similar ratios are true for adults.

What can you do if you can't change your job?

Sometimes you can't change your job, especially in the short term and with fewer jobs available due to the economy, so how do you make it more meaningful? Sometimes our jobs have an impact on others, but we’re too distant from the customers or end users to see this. For example whenuniversity telephone callers responsible for getting donations from alumnispent 10 minutes talking to just one beneficiary of their work they increased their weekly revenue by over 400%. When we see the direct consequences of our jobs for other people, we find more meaning in our work.

An exercise calledjob craftingcan help to reenergise your work. It involves redefining your job to incorporate your motives, strengths, and passions. You to visualize the job, map its elements, and reorganize them to better suit you. You can put personal touches on how you see and do your job, and you’ll gain a greater sense of control at work becoming happier and more effective.

You can change the boundaries of your job by taking on more or fewertasks, expanding or diminishing their scope, or changing how they are performed. A graduate in sales for example might take on additional event planning because he likes the challenge of organizing people and logistics. You can also change the nature or extent of yourinteractions with others,for example hospital cleaners who lacked patient contactprovided emotional support to patients and their familiesandhow you think about the purpose of certain aspects of your job. For more about job crafting, see"Turn the Job You Have into the Job You Want".

If you can't change your work in the above ways, another solution is to find meaning outside your work byvolunteeringin evenings or weekends ortaking an evening or online course. I remember one drama graduate who wasn't talented enough to become an actress and eventually ended up in a rather boring job as an administrator for an airline, but she gained great satisfaction by becoming a leading light in her local amateur theatre company.

For further information see

Professor Martin Seligman's research on this

Positive Psychologywww.positivepsychology.org.uk/pp-theory/strengths.html.

See the brilliant Youtube video called RSA Animate aboutwhat motivates us to workwww.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc.

Driveby Dan Pink

Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappywww.waitbutwhy.com/2013/09/why-generation-y-yuppies-are-unhappy.html?m=1

Bonuses not the best staff motivatorwww.hrgrapevine.com/markets/hr/article/2013-10-21-bonuses-not-the-best-staff-motivator

What makes you happy

Which type of employee is happiest at work?

Also see our pages onCoping with being unemployed/Maintaining your moraleandStriving for excellence

A King was going to his palace after his rounds in the city when he met a beggar. He asked the beggar, “What would you like?”.The beggar laughed and said, “You are asking me as though you can fulfill my desire!”

The king was offended. He said, “Of course I can fulfil your desire. What is it? Just tell me.” And the beggar said, “Think twice before you promise anything.”

“I will fulfill anything you ask. I am a powerful king, what can you possibly desire that I can not give to you?” The beggar said, “It is a very simple desire. You see this begging bowl? Can you fill it with something?”

The king said, “Of course!” He called his vizier and told him, “Fill this man's begging bowl with money.” The vizier went and got some money and poured it into the bowl, and it disappeared. And he poured more and more, and the moment he would pour it, it would disappear. And the begging bowl remained always empty.

The whole palace gathered. By and by the rumour went throughout the city, and a huge crowd gathered. The prestige of the king was at stake. He said to his vizier, “If the whole kingdom is lost, I am ready to lose it, but I cannot be defeated by this beggar.”

Diamonds and pearls and emeralds, his treasuries were becoming empty. The begging bowl seemed to be bottomless. Everything that was put into it immediately disappeared, went out of existence. Finally it was the evening, and the people were standing there in utter silence. The king dropped at the feet of the beggar and admitted his defeat. He said, “Just tell me one thing. You are victorious – but before you leave, just fulfil my curiosity. What is the begging bowl made of?”

The beggar laughed and said, “There is no secret. It is simply made of human desire.”