Happiness is Not What Most People Think!

Author Dr. Vijai Sharma PHD, is a “Life Coach”in Cleveland

It’s helpful to know the true nature of happiness so we can make the right choices and enjoy a happier and fulfilling life.  But, to do that we must debunk a lot of myths about happiness.

In most cultures children grow up hearing stories which end with “And happily they lived ever after.”  Boy meets girl and they fall in love.  Soon the troubles start pouring over them from everywhere, but our beloved couple heroically overcomes the menacing “monsters.”  And then they lived happily ever after! Totally unrealistic. It only happens in fairy tales.

The fact is that when the honeymoon is over the reality sets in.  Couples who learn to adjust and adapt to each other find happiness, but others experience constant clashes and unhappiness.   A happy marriage requires serious work.  In America, those who don’t seriously work on their relationship, on average, part their ways within seven years and second one lasts on average three years with long periods on unhappiness.  Many partners “wake up” to learn the lessons from their failures so the third marriage has a better chance to succeed.

I want to be so bold as to suggest that the ancient love story should end as follows: “They loved and respected each other.  And, by adapting and adjusting to each other they enjoyed long lasting marital bliss.”

One psychologist said that happiness is not like height. If you are six feet tall you will stay six feet tall for the rest of your life. But happiness is like mood, merely a state of mind which is created by a happy event.  You get a good job you are happy.  Then your job becomes old news and the happiness related to the good job fades away.

Here is the human dilemma: we human beings over time get used to everything that happens in our life, good or bad.   A good event such as new job, promotion, better house or an exciting relationship makes us happy.  Then the newness of the event wears off and the happiness related to it starts fading away.  This is called the “habituation factor” of happiness.

Awareness of the fact that events bring us happiness to which we get habituated over time can set us free.  Let’s enjoy the events but also practice specific behaviors that can give us lasting peace.  We will discuss those behaviors in future. For now, just remember three words in that order, Event, Happiness and Habituation.