"Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for." - Immanuel Kant
Like success, happiness resists being easily defined. Immanuel Kant's rules for happiness have given me solace more than once. If asked to add a single element to Kant's elegant formula, what would you choose?
Today, after over a year in a Covid cocoon, I would choose laughter. Reflecting on seventy-one years of good fortune, it's clear that many of my happiest moments have involved people I love - rule #2 in Kant's formula - and laughter. It matters not which comes first - happiness or laughter. Laughing with people I love makes me happy and the happiness I feel surrounded by people I love can result in unbridled, grateful laughing. I've desperately missed that kind of in-person laughter over this past year.
I submit Kant's modest rules can be a good first step as we all attempt to restore some equilibrium to our disrupted lives. Will happiness follow? For now, I'll settle for less disruption and more laughter with people I love. In my experience, happiness will flow from there.