We all want to be happy, and so we do our best to make choices that will make us happier.
Or do we?
Research out of Columbia University and MIT suggests that often we do no such thing.
Well, if we're not making choices to make ourselves happy, then what are we doing?
We're making choices we think will make others 'happy'. Specifically, we're making choices based on how we think others will perceive the choices we've made.
This may make others happy--if they actually even gave a damn--but often leaves us less than thrilled with the choices we've made.
Professors at MIT and Columbia found that subjects would choose to drink beers that weren't their favorites when they made the choice in the presence of others. When they made the choices in private they choose different beers and were more satisfied with their choices.
Challenging thing is, we often fail to realize this is going on. We think we are making choices based on what we like and want most. We are unconscious of our true motives.
"We're talkin` beer, here, Dude. How much more basic can you get than beer? I mean, if you can't even choose your own beer correctly, what hope is there? What can a person do?"
Be mindful. Pay attention to what is going on between your ears and in your body as you make choices. You'll catch glimpses of the struggle between what you want and what you think others will think of what you want.
Once you're clear on who you want to make happy, give it your best shot. If you need help talk to a friend, a therapist, or a coach--but watch out for their influence on the choices you make!
And good luck.