English Translations

Many people have asked me for English translations of the German blog posts. This page provides translations of selected articles.

What is the purpose of this blog? It is scientifically proven that happy people are more creative, productive, successful and perform better.

These pages are an addition to my book where I offer ideas and suggestions for a happier life. At the moment I have not yet translated many articles, but might add some some in the future.

Where should you start reading? Since the Happiness Model is the basis for this blog and describes how you can live happily and successfully, I recommend to start reading there. I hope you will have interesting and valuable insights.

Please select the blog post you would like to read.

Can you learn how to live a happy life?

The happiness model is at the center of this blog and my book. The model describes an approach how to live a happy and successful life.

This blog offers some ideas and practical advice how to implement the happiness model in your life. The blog also provides background on the scientific research behind the model

What makes people happy?

What makes people happy? Scientific research (and also many people’s own personal experience) shows that happy and productive people pay attention to the following six areas of their life. Happy people don't neglect any of these areas and take all of them equally into account:

  1. Happy people feel good about their body and pay attention to their health. Through our body we experience the world around us and present ourselves to others. To feel good in your body is a prerequisite to live in harmony and balance with yourself. Because health is a prerequisite for productivity and performance, it is the basis of all wellbeing programs.
  2. Happy people are adequately mentally challenged and apply their skills and knowledge, obtain recognition for it and contribute. Missing challenges and mental stimulation make us feel unhappy. The other side of intellectual stimulation is relaxation and the ability to let go. To be mentally challenged, to learn new skills, relaxation and meditation are part of a happy life. Knowledge and skills are at the same time a prerequisite for productivity and motivation.
  3. To give meaning to your life, to see oneself as part of a greater good and to feel part of a greater purpose, gives life direction and stability. This includes personal explanations for the transcendent and spirituality. It does not matter if your view of the word is deterministic, scientific, agnostic or if you believe in God. What matters is that your explanatory models and the resulting interpretations make sense for you. Happy people have given their lifes meaning and significance. They have explanations for the world and what they observe in it.
  4. Relationships with other people and joy experienced together with others, are a further essential element happy life. Humans are social beings and need their fellow man. Social isolation makes us unhappy. „I live with my fellow human beings in harmony and feel I belong somewhere", is typical statement of happy people. Also at work trust and cooperation with colleagues are cornerstone of productive organizations.
  5. Meaningful work that is fulfilling and has purpose is another important element of a happy life. Humans define a major part of their life through work. Whether a job is fulfilling is less a question of content, but rather of the work structure, i.e. how work is assigned, decisions taken or recognition given. Any job or task can be fun, if it is designed properly. Tasks done with enthusiasm and engagement are also the key to great productivity.
  6. Happiness is not possible without sufficient financial resources, financial security and material goods. We live in a material word. Without money basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter and protection cannot be obtained. Social status and partly the relationship with other people are influenced by our possessions and wealth. Also amenities, education or health care are only available if they can be paid. Though it is proven that money does not make us happy, lasting happiness without money is an illusion.

Above elements are accompanied by three general principles that apply to all of the six areas of a happy life. All successful and happy people follow these these three principles:

  1. Personal responsibility: You are responsible for your life and happiness, not other people or circumstances, because you yourself determine what you do and omit, what you think and want to feel. Although there are coincidences and life might not be always fair, happiness and success are largely in our own hands. Happy people accept responsibility for their life and don’t see others in charge for it.
  2. Inspired action: A happy life can only be achieved through action and getting things done. Laziness, ruminating or just planning will never lead to happiness. Action distinguishes successful and happy people from others. If you are active you can  shape your future and create the life of your dreams.
  3. Living in the moment: Life always takes place at this moment. Happiness can not be stored, but must be found and enjoyed in the moment.

In the center of every happy life stand self-realization and archiving meaningful, worthwhile personal goals. For this it is important to realize what you really want in life. Finding life goals is not easy and requires self-knowledge and truth.

The Happiness Model

The following picture shows all six areas of the happiness model with two triangles resting within each other:

  • I-Triangle: Body, Mind and Soul
  • World Triangle: People, Tasks, Money

The I-triangle with vertices body, mind and soul represents the person (intrapersonal happiness factors). The second, larger triangle with vertices tasks, people and money represents the world in which you live (extra-personal happiness factors). It surrounds the smaller I-triangle. In the center of the model are goals and at the sides the three principles.

In this model happiness can be described as state in which the two triangles rest in their midst in equilibrium. For lasting happiness, you need to rest harmoniously in yourself and the world keeping all six life area in balance, living the three principles while accomplishing fulfilling life goals.

The happiness model is neither complete nor true in any absolute sense, but just a useful, science based representation of constituents of a happy life. It's up to you what you want to make out of it.

Take action

Ask yourself the following questions and adjust the happiness model to suit your experience. Take a sheet of paper and draw your own personal version of the model.

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