Happiness is an emotion that people feel in response to their needs and whether these are met or exceeded. Marshall Rosenberg expounds on this in his book “Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life.” He shares:

“There are no positive or negative emotions, but only emotions we feel when our needs are met and when our needs are not met. When our needs are not met, we feel anger, frustration, disappointment, or sadness. When our needs are met, we feel relieved, satisfied, trusting, appreciative, or happy.”

Rosaria Cirillo and I explore the connection between needs and emotions in the book, “Yellow Goldfish.”

The word emotion comes from the Greek word emotere, which means “energy in motion.” The roots for motion and emotion are virtually identical. Movere, in Latin, means to move. Exmovere or emovere means to move out, hence to excite. Emotions have the purpose of getting us in motion. Emotions move us away from a desireless state, motivating us to act.

Because dopamine is released when we approach something that meets a need, it seems evident that when we meet needs or exceed expectations, we (and our customers and employees) feel happy.

Takeaway – Get moving. To add a line to Bobby McFerrin’s classic, “Don’t Worry, Do More, Be Happy.”