Our Skewed Perception of Happiness
Start writing a post

Our Skewed Perception of Happiness

What does happiness truly consist of?

Our Skewed Perception of Happiness
Huffington Post

From the moment we can speak, people are already telling us how to achieve happiness. We are told we have to get good grades, get into a good college and get a good job where we 'll spend 40 hours every week working our lives away for a fat paycheck. When did this specific path become the standard for attaining happiness? The minute we stopped taking charge of our own happiness and allowed society to take over.

There are a multitude of ads and commercials that portray pure bliss from simply drinking a coca cola or walking around in that new pair of Gucci heels. These ads have caused our perception of happiness to become skewed. These fake marketing ploys have objectified happiness to the point that we have begun to think that it can only be achieved by buying that brand new iPhone 6. Think I'm wrong?

If you could have anything in the world right now to make you happy, what would it be? The majority of people would say a million dollars, a brand new Lamborgini or a 64 bedroom mansion. Now how you would feel if you were handed that right now? Would you feel like you have finally achieved happiness? Or would you have an overwhelming feeling of joy that slips away once you get bored of whatever it is? If these objects only provide a fleeting moment of gratification, why do we continue to define our happiness through these materialistic fixations?

We do this because society has directly correlated happiness to money. This concept has been carved into our brains in order to keep the economy thriving.

With that in mind, now think of a time when you were really happy.

I mean a time where you were so full of bliss you could feel it in your bones. A time where your heart felt so full and your mind felt so free that you could feel the joy radiating off you. A time where the only concern you had was the pain in your cheeks from not being able to stop smiling.

Was it when you got your big paycheck after working 30 hours of overtime?

Or was it that time that your grandpa took you sailing for the first time and you looked out at the horizon with awe when all you saw was a radiating blue since you couldn't distinguish between the water and the sky.

Or was it the time you stayed up all night with you best friend in order to watch the sunrise but instead you two ended up laying on your bedroom floor laughing at stupid memes because even though you were too tired to move, you couldn't stop laughing long enough to fall asleep.

Or was it the time you and your significant other were supposed to go on a fancy dinner date but ended up missing the exit and driving around for hours singing off-key to "Livin' on a Prayer."

Those moments. Those defining moments are what happiness is. Those moments when you aren't planning every second of your life. When you aren't obsessing over your bills. When you are fully immersed into the present. Those moments when you are LIVING instead of obsessing over how to live better.

This is because happiness is experienced by living. It is an emotion brought about by experiences. It happens when you actively participate in your reality, not when you meticulously plan out every second. It doesn't have a price tag. Happiness is not expensive or calculated.

Psychological studies have shown that extrinsic aspirations such as fame and riches don’t promote happiness, but instead can actually undermine it. On the other hand, it is shown that intrinsic aspirations such as building relationships and having experiences promote well-being.

Now don't go quitting your job in search of endless experiences. This may be a little bit unrealistic in our terms of society but I implore you to focus on the present. Enjoy your experiences. Travel. Love wildly. Make new friends and strengthen old bonds. Explore. Don’t work your life away in order to have the newest trend because, at the end of the day, you're going to look back and smile when you think of that late-night adventure not that brand new Xbox one.

So I ask you again.

If you could have anything you wanted to be happy, what would it be?

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me

This one's for you, Spock.

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me
Liz Abere

Owning a pet can get difficult and expensive. Sometimes, their vet bills cost hundreds of dollars just for one visit. On top of that, pets also need food, a wee wee pad for a dog, a litter box with litter for a cat, toys, and treats. Besides having to spend hundreds of dollars on them, they provide a great companion and are almost always there when you need to talk to someone. For the past six years, I have been the proud owner of my purebred Bengal cat named Spock. Although he's only seven years and four months old, he's taught me so much. Here's a few of the things that he has taught me.

Keep Reading...Show less

Kinder Self - Eyes

You're Your Own Best Friend

Kinder Self - Eyes

It's fun to see all of the selfies on social media, they are everywhere. I see pictures with pouty lips, duck lips and pucker lips. I see smokey eyes, huge fake lashes and nicely done nose jobs, boob jobs and butt lifts. Women working out in spandex, tiny tops and flip flops. I see tight abs and firm butts, manicured nails and toes, up dos and flowing hair. "Wow", I think to myself," I could apply tons of make-up, spend an hour on my hair, pose all day and not look like that. Maybe I need a longer stick!"

Keep Reading...Show less

Rap Songs With A Deeper Meaning

Rap is more than the F-bomb and a beat. Read what artists like Fetty, Schoolboy Q, Drake, and 2Pac can teach you.

Rap artist delivers performance on stage
Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

On the surface, rap songs may carry a surface perception of negativity. However, exploring their lyrics reveals profound hidden depth.Despite occasional profanity, it's crucial to look beyond it. Rap transcends mere wordplay; these 25 song lyrics impart valuable life lessons, offering insights that extend beyond the conventional perception of rap music.

Keep Reading...Show less

21 Drinks For Your 21st Birthday

Maybe don't try them all in one day...

21 Drinks For Your 21st Birthday

My 21st birthday is finally almost here. In honor of finally turning 21, I thought I'd share 21 fun drinks since it's finally legal for me to drink them.

Some of these drinks are basic, but some of them are a little more interesting. I thought they all looked pretty good and worth trying, so choose your favorites to enjoy at your big birthday bash!

Keep Reading...Show less

Ancient Roman Kings: 7 Leaders of Early Rome

The names and dates of the reigns of the first four kings, as well as the alternation of Sabin and Latin names, are more legendary than historical. The last three kings, of Etruscan origin, have an existence which seems less uncertain.

inside ancient roman building
Photo by Chad Greiter on Unsplash

It is evident that all this is only a legend although archeology shows us little by little that these kings if they did not exist as the ancient history, describes them, have at least in the very Outlines were real as chief of a shepherd’s tribe. The period when kings ruled Rome could estimate at 245 years.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments