Moran Cerf, a neruoscientist, explains how making choices drains the brain’s energy. Source: Poets and Quants

A neuroscientist at the Northwestern University has finally revealed the most important road towards happiness. Drawing from his experience and studies on decision-making, Moran Cerf has asserted that the surest way of maximizing the level of happiness among us has got nothing to do with material wealth, experiences, or even our own personal philosophies. Cerf says that happiness is all about the choice of people we decide to spend our time with.

Personal company is the best solution to long-term happiness according to Moran Cerf and it’s not just about choosing your friends wisely. There’s more to this than meets the eye. According to Cerf, there are two reasons why he came to this conclusion. To start with, Moran Cerf notes that decision-making can be a tiring process. Research has already shown that human beings are limited when it comes to the mental energy that’s needed to make choices.

Cerf also explains how the people you hang out with affect your happiness. Source: The Independent

And we are not talking here about difficult choices. We’re talking about simple things like where to eat, what to wear, what movie to watch, etc. Although at a first look they all look simple, these activities can drain your mental energy significantly. The second reason identified by Cerf is that unconsciously, humans often have this false belief that they are in full control of their happiness through making such choices on a daily basis.

The assumption is that as long as we are able to make the right choices, then we will automatically be well on our path towards happiness and satisfaction. This assumption is outrightly rejected by Cerf. He argues that in the process of decision-making, there are so many biases that can in one way or another cloud our own judgment. Cerf argues that people fall short because of their emotions. They will also allow their emotions to cloud their judgment and turn a rational decision to an irrational one and convert a bad experience into a good one. In addition to this, Cerf notes that people are bound to take social cues in making decisions that they would otherwise make if they were alone.

By making fewer decisions and surrounding yourself with people who are right for you, Cerf says you’ll find happiness. Source: Forbes France

The idea of taking social cues in decision-making though has attracted the attention of Cerf. He believes that people can use this to their advantage in a number of ways. Cerf argues that based on the neuroscience research that he has done, when people are in each other’s company, their brain waves become identical. In other words, when you are close to certain people, your brain aligns itself with them.

Because of these two premises, Cerf argues that in order to increase the level of happiness and reduce stress levels, it’s advisable to surround yourself with people who embody the traits that you prefer. In addition to this, you are also advised to spend less time making simple decisions. Although this may seem like something simple, it can really make a huge difference in increasing your level of happiness.