The Future of Happiness – how to thrive in the Digital Age
11 Apr 2017 | Amy Blankson
Technology is constantly improving our productivity, efficiency, and communication – at least in theory. But one thing it’s not doing is making us reliably happier.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. When used well, technology has the potential to enhance, rather than diminish, human happiness.
Recognising that technology will continue to evolve in form and function, we need to know how to navigate the future to achieve a better balance between our gadgets, productivity and wellbeing.
Here are five strategies that successful individuals can use to thrive in the Digital Age:
Strategy #1: Stay Grounded
How to Focus and Channel Your Energy with Intention
Although our attention spans may be shorter than those of goldfish, we can learn to become less distracted and more present in our lives, so that we can tap into a greater sense of flow, fully immersed and engaged in whatever activity we might be doing.
We can increase our awareness and intentionality to mindfully choose when, where, why, and how we engage with technology. These skills help us to ground ourselves and channel our energy toward creating a happier future.
Stay grounded in the midst of change by:
- Using your guiding principles and values to focus your energies
- Hacking distractions to increase productivity
- Actively choosing how you want to respond to technology: resist, accept, or embrace it
- Understanding others’ intentions as well as your own
- Focusing on tuning in, not zoning out
- Bringing your priorities to the foreground
Strategy #2: Know Thyself
How Quantifying Yourself Helps Eliminate Limiting Beliefs
Self-knowledge is power. Paying attention to the micro-decisions in our lives helps us to avoid limiting beliefs and reach more of our potential. New technology helps us to understand our own bodies and minds on an incredibly detailed level, enabling us to make better decisions. However, we still have to tap into the greatest supercomputer ever created, the human mind.
Know Thyself by:
- Learning to recognise limiting beliefs that might derail your best intentions
- Magnifying your micro-decisions to achieve more of your potential
- Tracking progress in your life to determine where you have succeeded and where you have room for improvement
Strategy #3: Train Your Brain
How to Put Together the Building Blocks of a Smarter, Happier Mind
Recent advances in positive psychology reveal that we can train our brains to improve happiness and performance by using the S.T.A.G.E. framework (Savor, Thank, Aspire, Give, and Empathize).
To create sustainable positive change in our lives, the key is to identify a target skill set, hone in on one habit, assess your progress, and making the change “sticky” by setting simple, relevant, and realistic goals. Train your brain by:
- Developing an optimistic mindset to fuel your growth
- Using the S.T.A.G.E. framework to learn skills for improving your mindset
- Tapping into technology to bolster your success and track your progress
Strategy #4: Create a Habitat for Happiness
How to Build Greater Happiness into Our Homes, Workplaces and Communities
The influx of new technologies into our lives requires both physical and mental space to use these advances properly and in a way that fuels happiness. This strategy focuses on how we can use high-impact organising to regain control of our lives, as well as how we can set effective limits and boundaries on our use of technology.
Create a habitat for happiness by:
- Designing the places that we live, work, and learn in for greater happiness
- Making space in your life for future happiness by decluttering your environment and your mind
- Setting limits on your use of tech before you hit the point of diminishing returns
Strategy #5: Be a Conscious Innovator
How to Use Your Innate Power to Shape the Future of Happiness
The future of happiness is directly shaped by how we interact with technology today. Our ideas, actions, and even our purchases send important messages to investors and developers of new technologies. We can help co-create this future by being conscious and intentional about how we engage with technology in the present.
Innovate consciously by:
- Actively envisioning the world you want
- Using existing technology to be a conscious collaborator, consumer and catalyst for change
- Using your influence to model pro-social behaviors, create a ripple effect, and broadcast positive stories
By rethinking when, where, why and how you use technology, you will not only be able to influence your own wellbeing but also help shape the future of your community.
Amy Blankson is a happiness expert on the forefront of testing new technologies to foster well-being. Her new book The Future of Happiness: 5 Modern Strategies for Balancing Productivity and Well-Being in the Digital Era, (BenBella, April 2017), brings her experience in happiness research to deliver a roadmap for those feeling overwhelmed by new technology.
Source: Action For Happiness