What is happiness? – August 2013

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

What is happiness? – August 2013

From Naomi Simson

Recently I read an article about some new research from Deakin University. (I like the fact that as you get older you are likely to be happier) called the ‘Golden Triangle of Happiness’. Simply put, it found that you are likely to be happy if you have these three things:

1. Someone who loves us

2. A household income that provides the necessities

3. Connected to the community

Life is not perfect, it is not a constant party – without sad or bad times it is hard to appreciate good times.

Our society is changing quickly. The world is shrinking; the amount of information is endless. Yet I am left wondering if I’m the dinosaur from a past era not keeping up with the times? Am I the old-fashioned one urging people to ‘smell the roses’, ‘enjoy the journey’ ‘discover and see what is around you’?

What I do know is that depression is on the rise in Western society.

These are the thoughts I am sharing with my teenagers:

1. When making a choice about where you spend your time, ask ‘who will remember in a year from now?’ Your family is with you for a lifetime – friends come and go over the years.

2. Is the grass always greener? Is it possible to simply be where you are – be present, curious and enjoy it for what it is?

3. To give is to get – and the greatest gift you can give is your time, listening and presence. When you do this you will feel a sense of comfort and satisfaction.

4. More, more, more does not give you happiness. Comparing yourself to your friends and peers often leads to a great sense of insecurity and dissatisfaction.

Instead of living life based on a fear of missing out, perhaps live with respect, responsibility and resilience, and see if you move your own Personal Happiness Index – or perhaps at work where you could move your Personal Engagement Index too.

Naomi Simson has received many accolades and awards for the business she founded, RedBalloon.com.au, including the 2011 Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year – Industry.