Happiness is Not a Result

Woman Deciding Yes No or Maybe

In our society, we’re conditioned from a young age to believe happiness is a result

When we get an A in school, then our parents will be happy, and so will we.

When we win the Little League game [you can fill in any sport here], then we’ll be happy.

When we finally have a lot of money, or no longer have to worry about money, then we’ll be happy.

When we get that new job, then we’ll be happy.

When we get married, then we’ll be happy.

When we get that new car, then we’ll be happy.

I could go on, but I think you get the picture

I call this “I’ll be happy when” syndrome and you know what, it’s a myth.

Happiness is not a result of being, doing, or having anything. Does that mean all of these things can’t make us happy? Absolutely not… they can… and that may be one of the reasons we begin to associate them with happiness. That may be why, by the time we reach adulthood, we’re convinced happiness comes as a result of being, doing, or having something.

But the research shows otherwise

Studies have shown that people who suffer a tragic accident and become paraplegics, and people who win the lottery, both typically return to the same level of happiness. There’s something known as The Adaptation Principle that suggests we tend to adapt to whatever happens in our lives. While we may experience a fleeting “high” or extreme happiness as the result of being, doing, or acquiring something, that happiness doesn’t last. We eventually level off again to our normal level of happiness.

Research also shows we’re not good at predicting what will make us happy, or sad. We expect good things to make us happy and bad things to make us sad, and that’s often not the way things pan out. Think of all the times you’ve heard someone who has experienced a tragedy say it’s the best thing that ever happened to them.

Research also indicates that only 10% of our happiness is a result of our circumstances, while 40% is due to our attitude toward those circumstances. Yes, that means we can choose to be happy, and in fact, that choice accounts for a significantly higher percentage of our happiness.

Happiness is a Choice… NOT a Result

So why do so many people feel as though happiness eludes them? Why do so many people keep trying to be, do, and have more believing when they do then they’ll be happy? Why do so many people look at others and wish they could have what they have, believing if they did, then they’d be happy?

The answer is quite simple: CONDITIONING. We’ve been conditioned since childhood to seek success and strive for more, with the underlying message being that’s what will make us happy. We’ve been surrounded by messages our entire lives that constantly reinforce this conditioning, in advertising, reality TV, social media, the personal development industry, and more.

It’s time to claim our happiness

We can do so right now, today, exactly where we are. We don’t need to be, do, or have anything else in order to do so. It’s our birthright. We can choose to be happy right now regardless of our circumstances, or we can continue to be unhappy because of what we don’t have.

Which do YOU choose?

About Debbie

Debbie is an author, blogger, online teacher, business owner, and mid-lifer. She's writes on a wide range of topics, from marketing, money and success, to finding meaning at midlife. If it's on her mind, you'll find her writing about it!

4 comments on “Happiness is Not a Result

  1. Well, the article is in reality the best on that worthw hile topic. I harmonise with your conclusions and also will certainly thirstily look forward to your approaching updates. Simply saying thanks will certainly not just be acceptable, for the enormous lucidity in your writing. I can instantly grab your rss feed to stay abreast of any updates. Admirable work and also much success in your business enterprize!

  2. Debbie, this is such a great article!! It is wonderful to see the Truth being told! I agree, this is a topic long over due for exposure! Nothing like practicing being present and honoring yourself just for who you are and not for “results” I was just studying this topic last week and then came across your article! What synchronicity! Thank you for your brilliance and for sharing YOU!
    ~Rebecca

  3. Rebecca,
    So glad you found this post in perfect timing! We’ve been so conditioned to seek results that it can be a hard habit to break. But when we do we are able to experience greater joy, peace and happiness. Letting go of our attachment to how we think things SHOULD be is very freeing!

  4. Pingback: Choose Happiness

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