When it comes to ways that we have our success measured, there’s the obvious one of money, you know, how much wealth do you have, which you can share with all your wonderful fancy possessions, or how much fame you have, critical, popular acclaim, you can show how well adored you are.
And you know, this is maybe the most crude way to show success, and that’s why it’s a whole world of show-off consumption, where we have, you know, fancy objects that beyond simply being high quality, beautiful objects, they are objects, you know, made by these brand name designers and that have some ostentation of gold or whatever, just to show how successful and wealthy we are.
So this is maybe the simplest and most crude way to show what is accepted as success, and it’s pretty simple.
If you have the money to support it, then you can be this beacon of success, and if you don’t, well, you can definitely get into a lot of trouble by getting into debt by purchasing these kind of symbols of success.
But many people can look past this particular form of success, and they see OK, well, money isn’t everything, and many people clearly understand and agree that money does not equate with success and money doesn’t make you happy.
But here’s maybe one of the big alternative ways of looking at success that can be a trap of its own, and that’s the whole world of people who can say it’s about happiness.
It’s not about your money, your fame.
It’s about how happy you are so happiness can become its own measure of success, and just like people can compete with big, fancy luxury objects to show off their success in wealth, we also see people can compete to show off how happy they are.
And this has been commented on in social media.
People are presenting themselves as happy people.
“Look how happy my life is.” Presenting this picture of a happy life.
And then we look at other people’s social media, and they seem happy, and then we compare our own lives to their lives and see “Well, I don’t know, that looks pretty good”, and we can easily get into this trap of conspicuous happiness, presenting our happiness in a way to advertise our success and receive the appreciation and admiration of others, like “Wow, your life just looks so happy.
And it seems like this is its own trap, this is its own hole that we can fall into, where we become so focused on being happy that it almost loses all meaning.
As like, what does it mean to be happy? We present this sort of perfect image and present our lives as being happy lives, and yet everybody has a mix of different feelings.
Nobody is happy all the time.
Nobody has a perfect happy life.
And what’s the point of trying to show that we are happy all the time? It seems like it’s become like a social standard that the correct state to be in is to be happy.
If you are not happy, then there’s something wrong.
And we can see this even in asking the question “How are you?” If someone asks you “How are you?”, the response has to be “Good” or “OK”.
If it’s feeling bad, then the follow-up question would be “Oh, what’s wrong? How can I help? What’s the issue? Why are you not feeling happy?” And it’s just sort of this expected state that we need to be happy.
But what if we just imagine that we don’t need to be happy? What if it’s not necessary to be happy? Of course it’s nice to be happy, but it doesn’t seem like something that we need to be in all the time.
What if we simply abandon the idea that the default state should be happiness, and that any state except happiness is a problem? So I’d be curious to hear what you think of this idea.
What would be another way to look at things other than this? Or maybe there’s a different way of looking at what happiness is.
#happiness #behappy #permahappy