Every choice we make is with the goal to be happier. But so many times, I’ve ended up feeling disappointed. Not because I didn’t achieve my goal, but because I thought I would feel happier.
Happiness is sold as the ultimate aim in life; a destination that we need to reach. But happiness is an intangible concept. If I asked you what ‘being happy’ really means, would you show me photos? Or would you tell an adjective-filled story?
SO WHAT IS HAPPINESS THEN?
Jennifer Hecht uses history to explain there are different types of happiness, but most notably contentedness and euphoria. And by measuring ourselves by what we see on social media or read in magazines, we focus on only one type of happiness: euphoria.
Euphoria isn’t for everyday life. It’s for those moments where you are so happy, you can’t think of anything else like getting a new car or that dream job you wanted. And as wonderful as these euphoric moments are, aiming to live in constant euphoria is potentially not good for you.
In short, the higher you get on happiness the greater the fall. And if you think about it, nothing in life is perfect. So when you realise that in order to achieve in life, some things got to give; in order to get what you want, you should be willing to make some sacrifices.
So we might be convinced that happiness means lip-biting love affairs and adrenaline-filled adventures, but our biggest mistake is to let the lack of adrenaline stop us from being grateful for the smaller things that also make us happy. And even though being content isn’t as exciting as extreme happiness, it’s a reassuring constant that keeps us going in this thing we call life.
“As we grow older, we find that happiness becomes more and more about being content in our current circumstances, and hanging on to what we’ve already got.”
– Dr Heidi Grant Halvorson