What is happiness? Everyone experiences it. The real question is how much happiness do you experience? And do you experience happiness at the workplace? Designer Stefan Sagmeister explored this topic for over 10 years with his team. He tried to train his mind, much like one trains their body, to achieve an overall well being of happiness. Sagmeister used cognitive therapy, meditation, and mood altering pharmaceuticals. Statistics stated, “Happiness is based 40% on doing new activities, 10% on the state of your life and 50% in genetics.” The 10 year exploration produced a design show called “The Happy Show” and a film called “The Happy Film.” The Happy Show was an interactive, immersive design exhibit for the audience. I encourage you to look into the book “The Happy Film Pitch Book. It shows plans and photographs from both the exhibit and the film.
Sagmeister has done many TED Talks on Happiness. Within these TED talks he explains there are three types of happiness in design:
Being happy while experiencing design.
This is from the consumer’s view. You experience happiness through design. For example: If you were to ride bike along the coastline listening to your iPod. You’re experiencing someone else’s design, and it’s making you happy. It creates that moment.
Being happy while designing.
This one is self explanatory. It’s from a designer’s perspective. You’re happy while designing.
Designs that evoke happiness.
This is from the viewer’s perspective. You see someone else’s design, visually, and it evokes happiness.
Sagmeister continues with tips on to achieve happiness from a design standpoint. Since I’m a designer I found this very helpful. But one thing to realize about the TED talk, as well as his seven rules to create more happiness, is that it can relate to anyone’s career and life choices. Here are just a few tips and exercises he had done to help find happiness:
Keep a Diary: It helps support personal development.
Make a list of all the moments in your life that you have felt truly happy. He then had crossed-referenced it with the three types of happiness in design and over half of the events had been related to design. Do this, but in relation to your career. See if you receive the same results.
”Do more of the the things I like to do and fewer of the things I don’t like.” This is a quote from Sagmeister himself. It sticks with me as I move throughout my life. And one that you as the reader should keep with you. If you’re not happy, change it! If you’re in a career path that doesn’t make you truly happy, reflect on it.
Sagmeister has much more in depth discussions in his TED talks, work, and books. I encourage everyone to look more into this topic of happiness and how it relates to their life. I have, and I now have a much stronger outlook on the future.