Do We Try Too Hard To Be Happy?
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Do We Try Too Hard To Be Happy?

If you want to be happy, be.

Do We Try Too Hard To Be Happy?
Adriana Marrero

Everyone wants to be happy in life; after all, why would you not want to? But around the world (and most prominently in America as I live here) I feel that there is this incredible pressure to find what makes you happy and to have the perfect life even from a young age. As soon as an American baby is born, parents enter into an implicit obligation to answer any question about their hopes for their baby as, " I don't care what happens, as long as they're happy."

Of course a parent wants their child to be happy, but that also includes their child becoming a star athlete in school, having straight A's in all AP classes, getting into Harvard, acquiring a job in which they will earn over $100,000, and of course finding the perfect spouse and raising a perfect family. In reality, the ideas in which a perfect life can be achieved has been decided, and that child will be expected to achieve all of these things because that must be how they will become happy.

Because everyone apparently has the same ideas of what makes them happy.

Happiness in America has become the overachiever’s ultimate trophy.

This obsessive, driven, relentless pursuit is a characteristically American struggle. Despite being the richest nation on earth, the United States is, according to the World Health Organization, by a wide margin, also the most anxious, with nearly a third of Americans likely to suffer from an anxiety problem in their lifetime. America’s precocious levels of anxiety are not just happening in spite of the great national happiness, but also perhaps, because of it.

I, like many, have experienced this pressure not only from just parents at times, but even from peers, or most importantly, myself, as this is a mindset that seems to be ingrained in all of our brains. I've gone through many experiences in which I was so worried about wanting people to like me or to fit in, whether at school or at a new job, or wondering what others will think of my life. I've felt unhappy and upset with my life because I wasn't the star athlete, or the top student, the most beautiful, or the most popular. I'm going to be a teacher, and I know I won't make much money, and might not have a nice house and car like everyone else wants, because they say that will make you happy.

But that's the problem. Americans judge their happiness on how happy other people think they are, based on all of these ideas that are in our heads, rather than just deciding for oneself how they feel about their life.

If Americans would stop comparing how happy they are to the ultimate successes and perfection that others have forged into a part of our culture, people would be more accepting of each other, less judgmental, and less stressed in hopes of acquiring all of these ideals which are very difficult for the myriad of backgrounds and people in this country.

If we didn't try so hard to be happy, we'd achieve the very state of being we desire so desperately much quicker and more personalized.

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

Is Thrift Shopping *Actually* Ethical?

There's been a recent boom in the popularity of vintage style looks and up-cycling thrifted finds to sell at, usually, an outrageous price. Is this ethical? Or does it defeat the whole purpose of thrifting in the first place?

Is Thrift Shopping *Actually* Ethical?

One day, I was scrolling through Twitter and came across a tweet about upper-middle-class class people thrift shopping. I personally was against the up cycling/re-selling trend because I thought it to be greedy. Then, I began to see more and more tweets, and then stated to see ones about those who buy thrifted, name brand items and sell them for what they're actually worth instead of the very low price they got them for.

Keep Reading... Show less

Holidays With the Family?

Should retail outlets close on holidays so their employees can be with their families?


For the past few years, having stores open on Thanksgiving has become a popular trend. The sales have started earlier on the day known as Gray Thursday. Now, the Mall of America has taken a bold stand and is closing its doors on Thanksgiving. They are very excited in giving the day back to their workers so they can spend time with their family.

Keep Reading... Show less

Black Friday: Explained

Time to question this unofficial corporate holiday.

Flickr/John Henderson

On a personal level, Black Friday has always confused me. Everyone just ate a ton and spent all day with their families—why would we want to go out and vigorously shop, fighting crowds? I totally see why other people want to go do it, but I’ve never quite understood the concept myself. While I’ve been Black Friday shopping once or twice, I don’t get that excited about it unless it’s an opportunity to spend time with family or friends. Don’t get me wrong; I am the queen of bargains. Still, I never seem to have the energy to go out into the jungle of shoppers early the day after Thanksgiving, or even immediately after Thanksgiving dinner. Many people, though—including my loved ones—are enthusiastic about Black Friday shopping, and it seems most other Americans are the same way. So, it’s worth looking at the reasons for this commercially-driven, unofficial American holiday.

Keep Reading... Show less

#OptOutside This Black Friday

I am opting to go outside this Black Friday, and I hope you do so as well.

Ross Woodhall

The day after Thanksgiving has always been regarded by many as the beginning of the Christmas season. While not a federal holiday, many people take off work, spend time at home with their families, and enjoy the beginning of the holiday season. This Friday off turned into a prime opportunity to begin the never-ending chore of Christmas shopping. Soon it became one of the busiest shopping days a year, which companies capitalized on by bringing the best deals of the year to this day we know as Black Friday.

Keep Reading... Show less

7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

Cereal never seemed more appealing than at 10 pm.

7 Moments You Only Experience As A Night Owl

There is almost nothing more annoying in the world than waking up to the sound of an alarm. From the moment you get up until the time you get to bed, you are bombarded with responsibilities. You have to go to work and school, run errands, and do favors. But if you're a night owl then you have an advantage of getting a few more extra hours in the day. Here are seven perks to being a night owl:

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments