Am I happy?
Are you happy?
Are we happy as a family?
We all keep pondering over such questions…
And remain searching for the answer…
Happiness might have been with you all along – you just may not have taken the time to realize it was much less complicated than you once believed.
Happiness may mean different things to different people. Let us have a look at the findings from the four studies on happiness from around the world. (The following information is listed from Verywell mind, a popular website resource for psychology):
- The British valued positive change and derived the joy and happiness that comes from achieving something.
- Americans grew happy when those around them were happy. According to them, people who are surrounded by happy people are more likely to become happy in the future.
- Australians became happy when remembering positive memories. Simply thinking back to a time in your life when you were overcoming a challenge or to a time when you went through a significant life experience that changed you for the better could be effective in boosting your mood, and therefore, your happiness.
- South Koreans were happiest when engaged in collectivistic and spiritual pursuits. People prioritizing spirituality were the most likely to be happy, followed by those who valued social relationships. People who placed the most weight on external achievements (money, education, work, leisure) were the least likely to be happy.
These findings show that the definition of happiness differs from culture to culture. The definition of happiness in our own lives changes depending on the stage of life we are in. The big lesson that I have learned in my life is that our happiness, for the most part, is also in our hands. Despite the everyday hassles that we face and the hurdles in our path, we have to choose to be happy. What helps with this choice is developing a rich perspective about the situation. You should be able to see beyond your immediate pain point and look at the larger picture or the lesson at the moment. To be happy, you need to not only find your purpose but also find your people.
Let me end the article with a popular anecdote that I read recently:
Once in a management class, as part of an ice-breaker game, the professor gave a red balloon to every student. The students had to inflate it, write their name on it and throw it in the hallway. The professor ensured that the balloons were dispersed across the room. Next, he instructed the students to find their balloon within the next 5 minutes! As soon as he started the timer, the room broke into commotion. Everyone was scrambling for the balloon with their name on it. Despite a hectic search, no one found their balloon when the timer stopped.
At that point, the professor asked the students to take the first balloon that they found and hand it to the person whose name was written on it. In less than 5 minutes, everyone had their balloon!
The professor said to the students: ‘These balloons are like happiness. We will never find it if everyone is looking for their own. But if we care about other people’s happiness, we’ll find ours too.”
Isn’t that a wonderful insight?
Cuncic, Arlin. “How to Pursue More Happiness and Add Positivity in Your Life.” Verywell Mind, 15 Dec. 2020, http://www.verywellmind.com/how-to-find-happiness-4584480.