Richard Ryan, an emeritus professor of psychology at the University of Rochester in the United States, said.
“Abandon your usual New Year’s aspirations list and set goals that include giving others happier in 2021.”
Together with Edward Deci, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Rochester, Ryan is a co-founder of Self-Determination Theory (SDT), a broad framework for studying human motives and personality.
Developed by the duo for nearly 40 years, this theory has become one of the most widely accepted frameworks of human motivation in modern behavioral science.
The starting point is the idea that all humans have a natural (or essential) tendency to behave in an effective and healthy way.
According to Ryan, the act of helping others meet all three of the basic psychological needs identified in the SDT study: needs for autonomy, ability, and relevance.
Autonomy in this context means being able to feel true will and engage in activities that find personal value.
Ability means being effective and having a sense of accomplishment.
Finally, relevance means working with others and feeling connected.
“If you want to create a truly happy New Year’s aspiration, think of ways you can contribute to the world.” Ryan said.
“According to research, it’s not only good for the world, it’s really good for you.”