The owner of our company often sends me links of articles he loves, or just things I might find interesting related to my scope of work. While the majority are quirky and related to things like collections and human resources (my two big interests), there was one that really stood out and is the basis of this week’s blog. As a part of our money series, let’s actually take a step back from our usual topics of credit, money and finance and discuss the thought that once all of these things are perfected, will you even be happier?
“Can we be happier than happy?” The title of the article alone is thought-provoking. If we are striving to be happy, is it possible to be happier than what we expect happiness to be? I’m confusing myself here. To summarize the article, the author, Chantal Smedts, a Belgium writer for a company called Qlick, challenges her readers to reflect on the things that truly make us happy.
“We’re living in an era of prosperity; never before have there been such few wars, famines, disease and epidemic – and yet suicide rates increase every year,” she writes. What a profound observation. What is causing so much unhappiness, if not the current idea that there is always happiness to be found elsewhere? Now, I know there are so many other factors, like poverty, depression, mental health, stress, but some of these issues do stem from the thought that happiness is out of reach. Reading this article brought up some intense memories and I thought I’d share a relatable and very personal story to touch more on this topic.
When I was in college, and finishing up my senior year as an almost elementary school teacher, I felt this intense feeling of fear or dread when I thought of the choices I was making. Something inside felt like I was making the wrong decision and this drove me to drop out. To seek comfort in what was familiar, I decided to move in with my boyfriend while I figured out the next direction of my life. While this sounds like a story of unhappiness, and it is, I was very happy and sure of myself in the decision I made. I took something away that was a cause of my stress and confusion and found solace in the unknown.
This isn’t a story about my unhappiness, but someone else’s. Living with my now ex-boyfriend taught me so much about myself and what I wanted (and didn’t want) for my future. One thing about his mindset was that he was always reaching for the next level of happiness. When I would ask him why he was so unhappy, he would say, “I’ll be happy when I get a new car.” Once he did get a new car, he would say, “I’ll be happy when we move out of this apartment.” When we found a new apartment, he would say, “I’ll be happy when we are millionaires and don’t have to work anymore.”
This, along with many other factors, was a major contributor to our relationship failing. See I was happy now, living a small life in a small apartment; but I had this pressure of trying to make an unhappy person happy, which contributed to my own ultimate unhappiness. Whew, that’s a tongue twister.
To conclude, Smedts proposes these questions of reflection:
- What does happiness mean to me?
- When do I truly feel happy enough?
- What could I reduce to experience more happiness?
- How do I contribute to my own happiness?
There is one last mentionable component to her writing that suggests gratitude and happiness go hand in hand. So I’ll conclude with this, sometimes stopping and being grateful for what you currently have in your life can train your brain to focus on the happiness of today and stop thinking that happiness won’t be here until tomorrow.
Check out the original article here : https://qlick.today/en/can-we-be-happier-than-happy/