I would like your input on happiness because it is something that affects each one of us.
Between twiddling thumbs, playing hours of video games, and binge watching TV… OR putting in long hours at the office, constantly checking emails, and feverishly hacking replies to clients at 10 p.m.—there MUST be a middle ground.
This middle has been labeled work-life balance, otherwise known as the Pursuit of Happiness. The German in me wanted to get numbers on what happiness means to others, so I checked out Google’s trend search function to get the pulse on what people are searching for, literally and figuratively.
I first looked at the stats for people who have searched the term “work-life balance.” The numbers barely register on the chart. Then I investigated only “balance” and it brought up a lot of results. However, the closer I looked the more I discovered these searches were largely related to a famous footwear company and accounting lingo such as balance sheets. I tried to narrow the results to “how to find balance” and my conclusion is that neither work-life balance nor finding balance seems to be at the tops of our minds.
I decided to come at the query from the other side of the equation and searched for stats on the term “boredom.” It was obvious from the results that quite a few people are bored (and looking to Google to fill their time) but the graph shows the search numbers have been continually declining over the years. Are you surprised? Me neither. We barely have room to breathe—how could we possibly be bored?
Continuing with my analysis I tried the term “overwhelmed.” The results showed that this word is searched roughly three times as much of anything related to balance.
Finally, I look at happiness. After all, isn’t that the outcome we are all seeking? Since 2011 the number of searches pertaining to happiness has fallen consistently. To me, this means we are perhaps a little happier in general than a few years ago when the economy was worse. Yet still, when you look at the graph is it undeniable that happiness it is a HUGE topic of interest. Now do you understand why my book title is called Happy Woman Happy World?!
Why is finding happiness such a big deal? Why can’t we just be satisfied with what we have?
Here is why. “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is our constitutional right. As a German immigrant, I admit I used to find it a little odd that happiness shows up in the Declaration of Independence. This much emphasis on individual happiness is not the norm in my native Germany, nor to my knowledge, in other countries around the world. So why is it such a big deal here in the USA?
Happier people are more productive, and happier people are just better people in general. They are more connected, more religious/spiritual, more courageous, and more grateful. Happiness gives us more patience to raise our children. We are more open, we see more, feel more, and our relationships are better. Our sex lives are better, we are healthier, and we tend to live longer.
When we are happy, we feel more compelled to give, volunteer, participate, and see the positive. Therefore, happy people find much more satisfaction in day-to-day life.
Can you see the cycle happiness generates? Perhaps the rest of the world could take a cue from us in this respect.
I encourage you to pursue happiness with relentless vigor. It’s good for you, and it’s GREAT for those around you. And if you run a business, it is doubly important for all those reasons. As a reminder, here are a few tips I wrote about choosing happiness.
‘Tis is the season, so would you please help me spread the joy? I would love for you to share what happiness is for you and how you are helping to make the world a happier place. Thank you, your comments will make my smile grow.