The idea of happiness is different for all cultures but also the same for all humans. It’s not about what you have but how you feel about your life. It usually has a lot to do with how your life compares to what you think the average is. To feel good you have to feel like a winner or at least a ranked player. On paper it would appear that you have won if you live in a first world country compared to someone in a third world country but it doesn’t seem like winning if you don’t compete with people who have at least some chance to achieve the same opportunities. The starving kid in Africa feels good and happy when they eat 2 meals in one day but the same can’t be said for most in the western world.
Everyone always talks about “be happy with what you have” or “who cares what other people think” but it seems we can’t be happy unless we think other people think we should be happy. We need approval from our community. A community that can be your household, neighbourhood, work and even new people you meet. That’s why people lie so often when you first meet them. They exaggerate and hide aspects about their job, past, life in general cause they don’t think their life fits the model of a happy life. The life everyone wants to have. They don’t feel good about their life.
People will do anything to try to feel good about themselves just for the feeling that it will enhance their resume of life. The accomplishments and travels are suppose to elevate the worthiness of their life. I was hearing over the radio recently about how people are driving to Death Valley cause of the record breaking temperatures just so they can say they were there. I don’t know, I don’t see the bragging rights from that. There’s also this marathon in Death Valley during the hottest time of the year that some people like to do. 135 miles in 40 something degree celsius weather. So hot that people are advised to run on the white painted lines instead of the asphalt otherwise their shoes might melt. No prize money just a belt buckle for the ones who complete the course and the good feeling that comes along with it cause how many people can say they’ve ever done that?
All those people who are sad about their lives cause they see their job, disability, family, friends, loneliness are worse compared to most people they associate with, would feel a whole lot better or even “happy” if all those people suddenly had it worse than them. I guess it comes back to the idea that acceptance is a big part of what we think happiness is.
We feel good when we accomplish tough, time consuming tasks that bring a reward cause it makes us feel competent. You fought and you triumphed over adversity which will bring you admiration from others cause you’re going to make sure people know about it.
You have to sort of think that the things that we chase which we think will bring us happiness are usually what everyone else seems to be chasing as well. Coincidence? Doubt it. So yes you are probably doing what you are doing cause everyone else is doing it. You’re not as individualistic as you like to think you are just cause your favourite colour is puke green. People approving and admiring your life equals happy. People making fun of you, making you feel uncomfortable, awkward silence equals not happy.
The way I feel is this feeling good to be happy game comes with a lot of stiff competition no matter where in the world you are. Feeling good is like clean drinking water. Everyone wants it but not everyone can have it.