The pursuit of happiness is man's quest in the world. However, happiness becomes an illusion when we do something just because we think it could bring us happiness. This is because our conquests become moving targets. When we achieve our goal, true happiness eludes us because our happiness is temporary, making us crave for more acquisitions to satisfy our inner yearnings for bliss. Does it mean happiness is an illusion?
"Keep in mind that happiness is mostly dependent on our state of mind, not on our status or the state of our bank account. Barring extreme circumstances, our level of well being is determined by what we choose to focus on (the full or the empty part of the glass) and by our interpretation of external events. For example, do we view failure as catastrophic, or do we see it as a learning opportunity?" by Tal Ben-Shahar in 6 tips for happiness.
In Britain, studies show happiness levels are low. This is similar to the happiness levels in the US. It therefore appears that happiness does not wholly depend on affluence as both these countries have become more affluent since 1953.
"From the Buddha to modern gurus of self-help, there have been more than 100 exercises proposed which are alleged to increase lasting happiness, says Professor Martin Seligman a contributor to BBC Two's The Happiness Formula."
Professor Seligman has used positive psychology to help his patients to be happy and be less depressed. Hence, happiness depends on the state of mind. Positive thoughts improve your outlook on life and make you happier. You may have all the riches or have all the promotions and if you do not cultivate happiness in yourself, happiness will elude you. Always remember the following quotation in your pursuit of happiness:
"Standard of living has increased dramatically and happiness has increased not at all
Professor Daniel Kahneman, University of Princeton."