Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hector and the Search for Happiness

Hector has a problem. He is a very good psychiatrist and everyone wants to see him. He is a good listener, but he cannot figure out what makes people happy. He can't even figure out what makes many of his clients unhappy! Hector feels dissatisfied.

And here his journey begins. Hector will travel the world discovering what makes people happy.

Lesson 18: The sun and the sea make everybody happy. Agreed!

Hector takes notes and make lists, learning quickly that asking people if they are happy is the LAST way to find out what makes people happy. He learns that upgrading to first class makes him happy, but the next time he flies he is expecting these amenities. So he learns a lesson: comparison is the thief of joy.

As Hector continues on his journey, travelling to his friends in a variety of countries, he continues to gather observations through his experiences and interactions. The culmination of his journey will be a meeting with a professor who is attempting to quantify and measure happiness. 

So, has Hector done it? Has he gathered the elements of happiness together in one place? Can happiness be measured or it can it only be felt in moments?

The writing is simple, fun, and amusing. Hector is lovable and his journey is remarkable; with a few mishaps along the way. His lessons are pure and simple.

One day while I was reading, I heard a clip from a facebook page playing in the background. Suddenly, my ears perked up as I heard the narrator describe travelling to Okinawa, a place of happiness and longevity, and what they discovered there. He said they went to see the youngest islanders to map where this journey to health and happiness seemed to begin. Below is the clip.

For Lifelong Happiness, Look to Okinawa

Happy: A Documentary, a clip from the documentary