Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness

Well its that time of year – tis the season to be jolly! All those lovely movies on TV, scenes of happy families, caring and sharing…….. Christmas is the time of year when many people reflect on their lives, maybe they are comparing their family Christmases with those on TV.

Apparently in the 1940s people rates their level of happiness as 7.5 out of 10 and yet todays studies show that on average we rate our happiness as 7.2 out of 10. So with all the toys, entertainment etc that we have at our disposal we are less happy than in the 1940s. And yet so many people look for happiness in things. There must be something out there that will take away my bad mood, make me happy – if I could only be happy ……… Choosing drugs, alcohol, shopping, eating to name but a few as a way to try to achieve that happy feeling even if only for a while.

What is happiness?

In linguistic forms this is a nominalisation – a verb we have treated as a noun.

People spend a lot of time trying to get more happiness yet this is not something you can buy at the store, it comes form within. Some say it’s a frame of mind. Our choices do pay a large part in how we feel, and I’m not talking about whether you get those shoes in both colours.

The way in which we interpret our lives has a greater impact on our happiness than the events themselves. As William Shakespeare said “nothing is ever good or bad only thinking makes it so”.

Apparently on the Olympic podium the bronze medallist is happier than the silver. The silver is comparing themselves to the gold and thinking of what they have missed, whereas the bronze is comparing themselves to those who came after him and pleased with his success.

In the UK we have had the worst, coldest winter in decades, this has been a huge challenge to many businesses. I have been snowed in a couple of times, unable to make appointments, the internet down due to weather conditions. Now I could get really angry, be in a bad mood or accept this time as a chance to finalise some creative writing. The appointments have all been rearranged and I’m spending time writing in front of a warm fire, watching the snow outside of my window.

I can’t alter the weather but I can decide how I respond to it.

However you spend the holiday season, I wish you the ability to make the right choices that enable you to have a wonderful Christmas and a fabulous new year.


  1. An interesting read - have a happy christmas Tina :)

  2. Nice article.
    I guess most people believe happiness is a perception but actually it is a declaration - you don't need a reson to be happy and you do not need a reason not to be happy ...

  3. I like your article: there is no bad or good idea it's the thinking that makes it. Thinking about timeline through simple things such as how many people had the chance to re-organize E-mails over the last 3 years period in folders? It's so fun and meaningful in finding happiness. The feelings around the words and circumstances can be so much changed. LOL