Last updated on 4th January 2009
So here's a blast from the past ... that could be fun and useful for a New Year's resolution. I first came across Michael Fordyce's research year's ago (Fordyce 1977; Fordyce 1983). It was probably the first serious scientific exploration of how to help people become happier that I'd ever read. The approach involves a training called the "Fourteen Fundamentals". These are fourteen characteristics of happy people, extracted from research, that Fordyce argued most people could develop for themselves. The "Fundamentals" are: 1.) Be more active and keep busy. 2.) Spend more time socializing. 3.) Be productive at meaningful work. 4.) Get better organized and plan things out. 5.) Stop worrying. 6.) Lower your expectations and aspirations. 7.) Develop positive optimistic thinking. 8.) Get present orientated. 9.) WOAHP - work on a healthy personality. 10.) Develop an outgoing, social personality. 11.) Be yourself. 12.) Eliminate negative feelings and problems. 13.) Close relationships are the #1 source of happiness. 14.) VALHAP (value happiness) - the "secret fundamental".