Baseline Happiness

Note to future self…

What would be the implications of becoming happier over time?

  1. Does it mean that we experience less negative moments?
  2. Does it mean that we experience “higher-highs”?

I don’t have answers to these questions but I think they’re worth considering even if it’s as a thought experiment. I think that the idea that our happiness level can change over time is something that we don’t speak enough about. After all, we tend to recognize that everyone’s definition of happiness changes over time so it makes sense that the extent to which we’re happy can also change over time.

Ok that’s it for now.

Now back to work…

For a while now I’ve wondered if it’s possible to gradually increase your level of happiness over time? This question assumes that happiness has certain properties that can be measured consistently over time. For example:

  1. It assumes that happiness can be systematically quantified with few random or systematic errors
  2. It assumes that happiness can trend upwards, as opposed to just oscillating between two well-defined boundaries. This further implies that there might be some reason why your current level of happiness might not be your global maximum. In other words, maybe you have not been as happy as you could ever be.

For these two reasons I am not sure that thinking about happiness as something that can increase gradually over time is the right framework. Nevertheless, the question is still worth exploring.

Could we potentially become happier over time?