Are we happy? It’s a really difficult question to answer. Having suffered with clinical depression for most of my adult life, I probably find it more difficult than most.
What makes us happy? In our society we are encouraged to think of success as the secret. Success in our academic life, success in our work life, our social life and our relationships. Success in sport or other competitions or how famous we are – all are supposed to make us happy.
But does success make us happy? How often have we seen a megastar take to drugs or a professional sportsman fall from grace and wondered ‘why was he unhappy when the world was at his feet?’
This week I discovered a wonderful speaker, Shawn Achor. He has written countless books and articles, made hundreds of speeches and videos, all about positivity, potential and happiness. His website, http://www.shawnachor.com/ is a mine of information and inspiration.
The particular video I was shown can be found here. He speaks very quickly in the video, which is 7 years old, but his words are fabulous (I had to watch it in a couple of goes because of his voice!). The basic message is that happiness brings success, not the other way around.
After 58 years I think I’ve discovered my biggest mistake in life! It’s never too late so I’m trying the ‘three gratitudes’ exercise and also noting a positive experience every day. For instance, gratitudes so far have been my family, the lovely weather, good food, and my bed. Today’s positive experience was that more people than ever turned out to join in the litter pick.
So why not give it a go? I may well delve into this subject again so keep a look-out if you’re interested. I’d be VERY appreciative of your feedback on this topic, so that I know whether to look at it again.