Are you happy? Here are some stats from 2014:
“WIN/Gallup International’s annual global End of Year survey shows that happiness is on the rise”…
- 70% of people worldwide say they are happy
- Africa appears to be the happiest with 83% being content
- Western Europe looks pretty unhappy with 11% responding that they are happy, or very unhappy
- Fiji is the happiest nation where 93% were happy or very happy
- Iraq is the world’s unhappiest nation where 1/3 said they were unhappy or very unhappy
- Economic prosperity looks bleak in Western Europe where 44% believes 2015 will an economic struggle, just like 2014
- Optimism for 2015 looks high globally
These are some interesting statistics and anyone who knows me at all will know how I detest statistics… They can be useful at times, but I just do not have a good grasp of numbers so it tends to confuse me somewhat!
I am more of a qualitative researcher and I would be more inclined to find out what made people happy or unhappy. I like to get behind the statistics and flesh it out with opinion and thought of others. It was fun conducting focus group research for my dissertation as I loved getting an insight into why people felt a certain way.
What makes you happy?
There are many things in this life that can bring us a momentary smile and temporary satisfaction. Many of us mistake this for true happiness. Some may include, but are not limited to:
- Achieving or becoming successful
- Paying of a mortgage on a house
- Finding ‘true love’
- Getting that one thing you have been saving up for
- Travelling the world
- A good, delicious meal and the best dessert
- A good night out/in with friends and/or family
- Walking in a garden on a spring day full of flowers, butterflies and delightful spring creatures
- Getting a pet
- Listening to a favourite band/singer/musician
How long does that happiness last?
This ‘sense of happiness’ could go on for a while, but is it infinite? Can it last your entire life? Can you take it with you after you pass away from this life? Can you treasure it forever? Will it end? Does it become unpopular? Does it let you down? Does it get destroyed or damaged? Does it continuously leave you with that happy feeling and sense of security? Does it change? Did it end badly?
My guess is that although these things are lovely for a time, the reality is it provides a ‘false’ sense of happiness.
The preacher John Piper says ‘happiness is part of holiness’. Happiness in God is the essence of holiness. When we see God and delight in Him, we are blessed by it. For example, in the cross of Jesus and in His resurrection, joy floods our soul. Thus, it enables us to do things like love our enemies, which by our human standard seems wrong and would most likely not make us feel happy in ourselves.
What Jesus has done for all of us surpasses our false understanding of happiness.
Living a life delighting in God and God delighting in us; receiving His gift of grace, life and love – it gives us all a chance to be truly happy and holy. It is eternal and unending. It will not spoil or fade.
I will clap, sing and make music to the Lord who delights in me and I am blessed & truly happy because of Him.
It might seem unconventional as I usually would play a song written to give God praise —- however, I believe this song (which will be replaced by other catchy songs in time), is an upbeat way to end a post on happiness, whether false happiness or true… 😉
Like Mr. Pharrell Williams notes… ‘Happiness is the Truth’…
…The Truth being Jesus Christ – The Way, The Truth, The Life (John 14:6)