Happiness is a Choice Essay
Happiness is a condition of circumstance. Whether you have an excess of money or are limited in funds there is a place for happiness in your life. Regardless of circumstance we humans make the choice consciously or unconsciously to live life being happy. When it comes down to it, we all have a choice to be happy or not.
Our level of happiness is a condition of what we have had in the past compared to what we have now and hope for in the future. The comparison game weighs heavily on our happiness. We compare not only what we have in relation to where we have been but also to those around us. If we were to choose to relieve ourselves of the comparisons to self and our peers, we may begin to increase the levels of our own happiness. “[…] research shows that people who live in a neighborhood with richer people tend to be less happy than those in a neighborhood where their neighbors make about as much money as they do” (Rubin). This shows the impact the comparison game has on our own happiness. If we would let go of comparison, which is a choice, we would be creating our own happiness.
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Another aspect of happiness is to create an environment in which we increase our happiness through an increase in dopamine by creating an environment in which dopamine production is increased. ‘Perhaps the elusive search for happiness is actually a search for the right level of dopamine. From this perspective, to create a ‘happy’ life perhaps you should live a life with a good amount of novelty, create opportunities for unexpected rewards, and believe that things are going to get slightly better.’ (David Rock)
The adage, “money can’t buy you happiness” could not be farther from the truth. Money is what provides our basic needs which is foundational to our sense of security and worth. Without the minimal basics covered, we will not survive. There is a correlation to the amount of happiness one has to the amount of income one makes. “[…] according to a 2006 Pew Research Center study, 49 percent of people with an annual family income of more than $100,000 said they were “very happy,” in contrast to 24 percent of those with an annual family income of less than $30,000. And the percent of reported happiness increased as income rose 24 percent for those earning under $30,000; 33 percent for $30,000 to under $75,000; 38 percent for $75,000 to under $100,000; and 49 percent for more than $100,000” (Rubin). The more income a family makes the more needs are covered and more time is available to spend doing those things that support creating happiness.
In closing, I believe one can create their own happiness. We have a free mind and spirit, that we can use to choose those proven activities to achieve happiness. Whether it is being grateful for what we do have regardless of monetary means or value or using financial means to gain time to enjoy with those we care about or engaging in religious activities to exercising on a consistent basis we are at choice. Each one of us has the power within them to create their own happiness if they so choose.