With more new ways of reaching happiness springing up every day, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. But if your goal is to achieve long lasting happiness, as opposed to just a fleeting moment of joy, remember this: You have a body, a mind and a soul. Thus, it follows that in order to reach the true long-lasting happiness you seek you have to achieve balance in each of these three areas for the full-blown whole happiness effect. Doing breathing exercises and writing daily lists of things we are grateful for, are all fine and wonderful, but be conscious that they target only your mind.
Since we now know a lot about the workings of our body and mind thanks to science and psychology, respectively, the problem then is how do we work on balancing our soul?
The definition of soul is still wishy-washy to say the least. On the streets we hear that the soul is the breath that gives us life, the light inside of us, and the likes. Depending on your religious inclination a soul can be either mortal or immortal. We have food that feeds the soul, music for the soul. But no one has told us what specifically a soul is made out of.
Personally, if I know the specific parts of something I need to work on then it is that much easier for me to achieve a goal. So, even if I have a definition of soul that is subpar it would help me a ton to have some specifics to target.
As an analyst that loves data and is passionate about synthesizing huge data sets into their essence through the use of formulas in Excel (I know, it sounds lame but this is not the only thing that interests me in life, I promise), I decided to run a non-scientific study to approach just this question. Here is the method I used:
I gathered the answers people gave in TV shows, interviews, books and magazines to the question of what makes them happy. Nothing here would surprise you: it ranged from money, to being their own boss, to singing, to meditating, to spending time with family, to running, to making art.
Applying a technique called Quantitative Text Analysis to this group of data points allowed me to categorize and recategorize the answers until what was left boiled down to three overarching themes: Things involving people’s aspirations; things involving morals and values; and things involving communication (that is, speaking one’s feelings thru singing, dancing, art, prayer, love and the likes).
To boil that down to a mathematical formula I could have used many words to label each of the three groupings but, it just so turned out that the three themes fit pretty snuggly into the most famous equation that I know (not that I understand what it means, but I know the initials its letters stand for) so I went with that.
The formula for what makes for a happy soul using the method above, is that a soul is made up of your motivation, your culture and your communication with others. In short, happy soul = M*C².
So to workout your soul, in a manner of speaking, remember to work on that dream you know you want to reach (if you don’t know what that is, then work on finding out), stay true to your values, and communicate with others frequently.
Work on keeping your body healthy, your mind peaceful and your soul balanced (on at least the three things above) and you’ll be solidly on your way to achieving happiness that lasts for a lifetime.