If you search ‘the secret to happiness’ on the internet, thousands of websites appear claiming to know the answer. With the current climate of the world, I’m sure most people would love to know how to be happier. However I’m beginning to question whether or not it is achievable.
Curious, I searched the internet to try to find this classified information and came across two articles. One was claiming that they had 9 steps to help you achieve happiness, for example, step no.2 was to value your time over your money. However, in step no.3, Kevin Loria then described how ‘People’s well-being rises along with income levels up to an annual salary of about $75,000’. So Loria is saying that in order to increase your happiness you have to value time more then money, but then you also have to aspire to earn a certain wage in order to live well? The stress of this contradiction was definitely not improving my mood.
The other article believed that, in order to be happy, you have to be miserable, (at least the juxtaposition was clear from the title). They discuss how we need to embrace our negative feelings and emotions in order to be fully satisfied with our life. In the article Gina Clarke, a psychotherapist, described how “When we feel sad or uncomfortable it is our mind’s way of telling us that we are out of balance, that emotionally we are in pain and we need time to heal.” She explains how we need to accept these feelings in order to discover what is making us unhappy, then we can begin to work on the issue until we are satisfied. However, here I found another problem, because if we have to embrace unhappiness in order to become content, what happens when we are completely satisfied? Is that even achievable or will there always be an issue at hand? How does this apply to those who are grieving or facing incurable illness? There are no solutions to those problems so surely they cannot be happy?
So I have come to this conclusion, complete happiness cannot be achieved. This is why everyone is so desperately searching for an answer, because there isn’t one out there. So maybe we should stop trying to achieve complete satisfaction, perhaps happiness should be less of a requirement and more of a perk to our lives, otherwise we will constantly be unhappy trying to be happy.
I know, another contradiction, how could I not.