Hi everyone,

Today I would like to talk about our “Perception of Happiness” – happiness within ourselves and people perception of our happiness. In this social media saturated world, it is sometime difficult to distinguish between genuine happiness or society perception of happiness within ourselves. Let me explain myself.

I recently seen a documentary called “The Long Way Round”. It is an old footage (2004) that documented Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman motorbike trip circumnavigating our planet on motorbikes. The trip started off in their native United Kingdom. They saddled their bikes in London and headed east as per the map shown below.

bceoer

The first few days of the trip were quite boring from a viewer point of view. Riding through countries like France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany etc. was very uneventful. It was boring to watch. The society that they encountered mirrored all other society behaviours in all the other 1st world countries. Boring. However, the more East they travelled the more interesting it became, at least for me anyway. Society began to change. Landscape changed. No more Calvin Klein clothing. No more iPhones. The life began to feel a lot more basic a lot more simple the more east they travelled. However, there was one noticeable difference – the smiles, laughter and happiness were more and more apparent with every person they met on the road. My absolute favourite episode is of them spending a night with the locals in a rural part of Mongolia. They decided to experience the local life to its fullest. They ate sheep balls for dinner, slept in a tent and washed themselves in the local river in the morning. As they were leaving the locals were preparing to put in a hard day’s work on the land. The people in this small village worked on the land and lived off the land. They had smiles from ear to ear. Laughing and joking how these hard core western bikers struggled with their way of life. The people had nothing to give yet they made them feel welcome by feeding them and providing accommodation for the night. I was blown away by the attitude of the people in this village and then I began to think: The people probably never heard of an iPhone, Snapchat, Facebook, holidays abroad, etc. They are very happy and content with themselves. They have different life, different perception of the world and therefore a different perception of happiness. I think as human beings we constantly strive for happiness, Right? It made me wonder, are we happy with our hectic, social media lifestyle or are we just fooling ourselves? What is the definition of happiness? Is anybody truly happy? Is there such thing as happiness?  All of these questions were rattling in my head for days. I was stumped. However, one day it hit me. I got the answer (or at least I got the answer that makes sense to me). Here is my opinion on happiness:

“There is no template for happiness. Each one of us perceive happiness in a different way. Society, friends, family, etc. can contribute to our journey to happiness but only we can find our happiness.”

That was a mouthful. I know. However, let me use myself as an example. I am not a huge fan of going out on the town drinking, dancing, go crazy a little like a lot of people my age are (Blog on my opinion on drinking culture in Ireland coming soon). I much rather spend Friday & Saturday nights chilling with my girlfriend or spend hour updating my excel financial log or write a blog. From an outsider looking at me staying in playing around with “excel” (yes I said playing) seems quite boring when compared to someone who goes out on the town, goes crazy and uploads 143 photos of them on Facebook the following day. However, this is completely false. To me staying in messing around, planning and updating my financial log is bliss. I am in my element on such nights. I may be even more happy than the guy jumping around the dance floor recording an “epic” Snapchat video. (I will get into my views into social media another time.) This is just one example that I chose to use. What I am trying to say is that each and everyone of us have our own idea of happiness. Some like hiking, some like clubbing, some like playing sports, some like gym, etc. etc. It seems (to me at least) we are perceived as boring or unhappy if we don’t follow the society way of life – going partying, going on holidays, buying the latest gadget, having a good car etc. Believe it or not but in this crazy thing we call life we have our own path to happiness. We all control what makes us happy and just because your friend likes going drinking, doesn’t mean you have to. Just because your friend enjoys going to cinema every week doesn’t mean you have to. Do what makes you happy and only YOU know what makes you happy. Society and those around you can contribute but only you can find it.

I hope I have explained myself accurately in this blog. It is something that I am getting grips with myself and constantly have to remind myself that I need to do what makes me truly happy and it does not have to be what perhaps my society or may family/friends think is cool or enjoyable. We all perceive happiness in a different way and that the beauty of it. Please feel free to discuss, comment, share your ideas and your opinions on this topic. I am not trying to come across as someone who has everything figured out. I don’t. I have much to learn and perhaps your different ideas, views or opinion on topic of happiness might help me or other readers to redefine their stance on what makes them happy for the better. I just wanted to share one of the thoughts that I think about regularly.

Thanks for reading everyone, the above is not a fact it’s just a vadThought.

41 Comments

  1. Many people believe that happiness is having fun at a party, the excitement of new experiences, the thrill and passion of sex, or the delights of a fine meal. These are all wonderful experiences to be cherished and cultivated but they are not happiness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Read a study carried out a few weeks ago on how a paraplegic just as happy as a lottery winner? However, the more I searched for the answer to happiness it made perfect sense. The lottery winner would gain more burdens, and the paraplegic would gain more help. Also, for a person that can’t fend for themselves, even the smallest joys would seem enormous.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We live in a world where we are constantly being reminded of what we don’t have, and that somewhere out there, other people have better. Yet, when you look at the people who seem to have everything, they seem more unhappy than the majority of people we know.

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  4. In order to be truly happy, we need to step away from ourselves and seek to create happiness in others without expecting anything in return, including recognition for our actions.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We need to distinguish between happiness and pleasure, as they are both completely different things and know that when we are unaware of anything greater than what we have, nothing that we have is unsatisfactory to us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We are all designed to fulfill our own desires, and to seek affirmation and recognition. Doing differently takes thought beyond our inherent nature. However, it does make sense to me that finding happiness outside of my own desires would be my first step to understanding what being happy really means.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The best way to do it is by focusing on what is going well instead of what is going badly, on what you have instead of what you lack, on your gifts instead of your shortcomings.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. By focusing on what is going well instead of on what is going badly, you aren’t condemning yourself to stagnation like many fear, because you can use your energy to build upon the good just as easily as you can use it to eradicate the bad. What you are doing is cultivating whatever little amount of happiness is available to you now, and therefore making the state become a way of life through continued exposure to it

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The people you know who are happy go through difficult circumstances just like everyone else. They are confronted with their fair share of failures and disappointments, but they don’t dwell on the negatives. They focus on the positives, when it’s dark they look for the stars. It’s their perception of circumstances that causes their happiness, not the circumstances themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In a Western conversation about gratitude you’ll often hear the well-meaning advice to compare your situation against someone who has it worse, which is supposed to make you instantly feel better. If you wouldn’t want to trade places then things must not be as bad as you thought after all.
    But this type of gratitude misses the mindful perspective entirely because comparison is actually the central element. You’re still not appreciating your situation as it is but only against some other situation. This strategy will end up backfiring because it keeps you mired in a competitive spirit, one where you’re trying to do better on the backs of those who are doing worse, which is a vicious outlook on the world

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  11. Happiness is a highly subjective concept. Every person, to a certain capacity, seeks happiness in their own way. This is a basic human pursuit. It is a product of sentience. Ironically, it is this very need to pursue the intangible, which often prevents us from attaining it.

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  12. In a media centric society driven by consumerism it is difficult to escape our culture’s perpetual obsession with filling a void that itself is responsible for. A constant “want” muddies the perceptions of what actually brings happiness, and a constant exposure to unattainable archetypes fuels a sense of inadequacy that binds us to our pursuit of “want”. What is so easily forgotten amidst this cycle of consumption is that by constantly over-stimulating our senses we actually bend our perceptions of reality. By refusing to allow our minds a moment of rest, we avoid living in the present, and rob ourselves of true moments of unabashed contentedness.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. You need only observe the way that a small child perceives their environment to be reminded of how amazing every interaction can be. Comparatively, as we age, we forget how to appreciate life, and gradually colours, tastes and smells become grayer

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Sometimes the most joyful moments are those simple connections we make with our environments, those moments where we can open up into limitless imagination, and those connections we find with those around us in moments of vulnerability and empathy.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. These connections are crucial for maintaining a sense of humanity, but are often overshadowed by our own sense of ego and self-image. These are the very burdens that our society imposes upon us.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There will always be times of self-doubt, self-loathing, sadness and uncertainty. There will always be bad with the good, but that’s okay. By accepting ourselves, and allowing ourselves to become vulnerable to our environments we can still attain these connections that make living worthwhile.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. If we are always seeking, we can never truly find. Happiness is possible if we let it be. The doors of perception are our gateway to mental freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. If we are always judging, and comparing ourselves and others to some unrealistic standard, we will always tread the waters of close-mindedness and inadequacy.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. If there’s anything I’ve learned about happiness, it’s that is has much less to do with your possessions and achievements, but rather your perception of what you have and the world and people around you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Each of us has dreams that for one reason or another we do not achieve. And we all make choices that perhaps were not the best we could have made. Yet, rather than allowing regret to overtake us, we must see and celebrate all the other goals we’ve accomplished and positive choices we’ve made.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Human nature so often leads us to perceive the one negative in a sea of positives. But, we can retrain ourselves to acknowledge both, learn the lesson embedded in our mistakes, and allow ourselves to see and feel pride in the beauty we are capable of.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Gratitude can take us far in reframing how we see ourselves and our worlds. When we begin a daily practice of recognizing the positive events that occur and the pleasant encounters we have with others, we start noticing more things to be thankful as the days pass. Perhaps it’s someone who holds the door for you at the supermarket, the nice conversation you have with a stranger while at the coffee shop, or a hug with someone you love. These are the small moments, and often the ones we forget. Savor their beauty and what they tell you about human kind….we do live amongst many good people.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. It’s easy to judge others for their actions and take for granted those we love or meet in chance encounters. We sometimes get so caught up in our busyness that we forget others are busy too, they have rough days just like us, and they benefit from our kindnesses just as we do theirs. Go out of your way to smile at strangers, say good morning, say thank you, give a compliment, and listen attentively to someone who needs your ear. Do it because you can, because it feels great, because it makes someone else feel good. Don’t worry about a subsequent thank you; let a thank you be a beautiful perk, rather than an expectation.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. When the metaphorical dinner on our plate seems too huge to digest, it’s expected we might wish to eat our dessert first. Work can overwhelm us, however several big projects can be broken down into smaller, achievable steps. Keep a weekly calendar and/or to-do-list, assess the steps required to complete your tasks, and determine when each needs to be completed for your success and sanity. Decide what you’ll do each day, cross sub-tasks off your list as you complete them (it feels great!), and celebrate at the end of each day by doing something you love. It’s a great way to feel a sense of accomplishment, and balanced in allowing yourself play time as well.

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  25. Our behavior as consumers, our attitude toward money, and the satisfactions ascribed to having money are all beginning to adjust themselves to the global and interconnected reality we live in, where we are all tied to one another, affecting one another like pieces in a global puzzle

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  26. Those who do strive for them and believe that money means happiness are beginning to realize that the traditional methods to obtain that happiness are no longer working because the world has changed into a global-integral unit. For this reason, we cannot arrive at happiness if it is not tied to the happiness of others, and certainly not if it comes at others’ expense.

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  27. The Power Of Perception will mirror your “inner world” in the physical world and produce results in exact correlation to those perceptions that YOU choose to hold on to.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Most of us have vague ideas of what makes us happy. Maybe we’re reasonably happy on a day-to-day basis but we’ve never really put much thought into where those feelings come from or what, specifically, about an experience is making us happy.

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  29. If you’re a human who is alive, the society you grew up in has Ideas about what happiness looks like. These Ideas have permeated our lives since the moment we could understand shapes and colors; they’ve wormed their way into our soft, sweet subconsciouses.

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  30. Wow! Thoroughly enjoyed reading the comments. Each and every one of us has our own opinion of what hapiness is. This is exactly the core point of this blog and I am glad it has resented with people. Please feel free to share your ideas and views and it will help other readers on heir journey to happiness. Blow away by all of your comments!

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