Happiness Is Not a Competition

What is going on with us today? Even being happy is considered a competition. Don’t believe me? check out articles like:

Unmarried, childless women are happiest

Married people are happiest, especially in middle age

So which study, survey or ranking should one believe in? Research shows conflicting viewpoints and data is normally skewed and I should know as I worked in market research for 5 years!

That’s why I read rankings, surveys and studies with a pinch of salt...the point is don’t believe everything you read and use your common sense to judge.

Happiness seems to be a prized commodity as Google keywords tool show that 110,000/month are googling this versus “how to be rich”, which is 74,000 per month. This shows that people value happiness over being rich in a simplistic kind of way.

Happiness is defined as “a state of being “happy”” and other synonyms that came up are joy, contentment, pleasure, satisfaction etc. What many does not know or understand is that happiness is not something to pursue and it is not a destination. 

Happiness is not constant and there can be many levels of happiness such as slightly happy, very happy, super super happy. That is why I rather be contented than just be happy. It is my personal opinion that being happy can be temporary and normally brought about by external factors /things such as a promotion, a new bag, delicious food, travel, new house, new car etc...you get the picture.

With contentment, it is a constant knowledge that you are exactly where you are meant to be and doing exactly what you are meant to do.

But back to the trend that happiness has been made into a competition and more so with social media because what is being projected out by people are only the good things happening with them and in their lives. Each share and post is so curated and so filtered that it often make one feel left out or not doing enough to be happy. Many people publish holiday photos, anniversaries and birthdays and I do it too - nothing wrong with that but we know that no one goes on perpetual holidays everyday. No one can be so put together 100 percent all the time. Everyone has challenges and struggles, just different ones.

So happiness should not be the goal of life but rather acceptance and enjoyment of the day to day.

No matter the lifestyle that you have chosen for yourself and family, it is not given that you are happier or not happier compared to others because life is not linear and our day to day happiness index fluctuates depending on what comes our way. Based on Maslow Hierarchy, as long as our basic needs are met, we should be happy enough. And according to science, your happiness gene is also genetically related.

So the next time you see articles and rankings purporting that certain group of people are happier, really think about it and know that it is impossible to be happy all the time, even the happiest people you know. 

Then no one can make a competition out of happiness.

Kendra LeeComment