Put a Spring in Your Step—The SaddleBrooke Happiness Project

Andrea Molberg, PhD

We not only pursue happiness, we study it. Psychologists research wellbeing, and academic institutions like Harvard now offer psychology courses in the science of happiness. Harvard’s course Positive Psychology is actually the most popular course in the history of the university.

This year, focus on wellbeing by giving. Remember the November warmth from being grateful (giving thanks), the December joy when someone opens the perfect present you found (giving gifts), and the sense of purpose (giving energy) with January’s resolutions? In February we celebrate giving hearts on Valentine’s Day. Keep it going throughout 2023, and it’ll put a spring in your step.

Overwhelming evidence indicates the major sources of wellbeing are pleasure, relationships, and meaningful accomplishment. Selfish pleasures are fleeting and can quickly dissolve into greed, but the pleasure from giving and serving keeps on giving. For long-term health and happiness, be grateful, build relationships, and take on challenges.

Give of your talents. Sing with SaddleBrooke Singers or a choir. Teach an ILR course or art class. Use your problem-solving skills on a club or homeowners association committee. Help someone with a computer question.

Give of your time. Be of service by volunteering at the Golden Goose Thrift Shop, with Senior Village, and with SBCO. Go for a walk with a grieving neighbor and listen. Drive more slowly to make our roads safer. Pick up trash and dog poop.

Strengthen relationships with joint activity like Mah Jongg, bocce ball, golf, pickleball, bridge, and POP tennis. Care more about playing than winning. Show compassion and little acts of kindness, then take a spin on the dance floor or have a good chat in the hot tub.

Giving can be done at the HOA level as well. Because pickleball is extremely popular and a big draw for future buyers, SaddleBrooke One could make a donation to the pickleball courts and generously help erase debt. Hundreds of SaddleBrooke One members regularly use the amenity, while only SaddleBrooke TWO funds it. And for the hundreds of dog lovers, SaddleBrooke TWO could give permission for dogs to be in golf carts and walking on paths after hours, just as they are in SaddleBrooke One. Take on the challenge of bringing us together and keeping SaddleBrooke desirable.

Be part of the SaddleBrooke Happiness Project.