Surprise! Scientists Have ‘Cracked the Code’ to Being Happy

happiness

I love this quote by illustrious NASA scientist Dr. Robert Jastrow (1925-2008): “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountain of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

I would just add to Dr. Jastrow’s keen insight, that it’s not theologians at large who have long lounged atop Mount Understanding. It is, more precisely, Judeo-Christian theologians. Indeed, with time and chance, even science can eventually catch up to God’s Word.

Case in point: Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic is one of the world’s most prestigious health institutions. With much fanfare, researchers there announced last week that they have “cracked the code to being happy.” “Imagine scientists coming up with an actual formula for happiness—a specific recipe for lifelong contentment and joy,” they tease.

Well, my forlorn little friends, imagine no more. These scientists boast of having “created just such a formula based on neuroscience and psychology.” For a mere $15.95—less than your daily dose of Zoloft and vodka—they’ll rush off to you “The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness,” a “four-step self-help process” to finding “a lifetime of joy and contentment.”

“Happiness is a habit,” says the study’s chief researcher Dr. Amit Sood in the Daily Mail. “Some of us are born with it; others have to choose it.”

“Previous research has shown that our minds are hard-wired to focus on negative experiences. For our ancestors,” continues the report, being perpetually PO’ed, “helped them stay alive, providing an evolutionary advantage in the face of danger.” (Some of us attribute this to mankind’s fallen, selfish, sinful nature, but we can go with that whole evolution thingy if it makes them feel better.)

Concludes the Daily Mail: “The book makes readers focus on a different positive emotion each day, such as gratitude, forgiveness and kindness.”

Wait. Hold the Mayo. This is déjà vu all over again. What “book” are we talking about here? Where have we heard all this before—talk of gratitude, forgiveness, kindness and whatnot, leading to joy, contentment, happiness and so forth?

Anyway, click over to Mayo’s related “How to be happy” page and you’re given a little more detail.

“People who are happy seem to intuitively know that their happiness is the sum of their life choices, and their lives are built on the following pillars:

  • Devoting time to family and friends
  • Appreciating what they have
  • Maintaining an optimistic outlook
  • Feeling a sense of purpose
  • Living in the moment

Look, I’m glad you’re getting the message out, guys, but, c’mon, plagiarize much? This isn’t a revolutionary “formula” “created” by “scientists” and “based on neuroscience and psychology.” While it’s all true, you’re a bit late to the game. Dr. Jastrow’s theologians have been well acclimated to this lofty altitude for, oh, about 2,000 years. You guys have more degrees than a thermometer. You should know to cite your original source.

So, let’s break it down. Though there are many to choose from, and while the following is in no way comprehensive, let’s contrast Mayo’s “breakthrough” happiness pillars to but a few of their long-established counterparts in the original “handbook for happiness:”

Click here for more.

SOURCE: Charisma News
Matt Barber