Why Don’t You Know What Makes You Happy?

We are all chasing happiness throughout our lives. Sometimes, we will go to great lengths to try and achieve it. But do you know what will actually make you happy?

It’s hard to argue against happiness. Simply put, it feels good. Given a choice between some other emotion — being sad, for instance, or mad — happiness will win in all but the most extreme circumstances.

However, some studies seem to suggest that what we think will make us content doesn’t. Or at least, it doesn’t produce long-lasting happiness.

For example, we convince ourselves that buying the latest gadget will do the trick. And sure enough, shortly after buying it we are very pleased, but that sensation fades pretty quickly. In turn, that leaves us wanting something else to fulfill that need.

Alternately, it is suggested that positive experiences might lead to longer-lasting happiness. Sharing with a loved one, making memories with friends, or unique experiences are thought to be more fulfilling, ultimately, than some physical possession.

Have you found that to be the case? Do you know what will make you happy? Or do you just think you know? Why would we think something will make us happy when it won’t? Looking back on your past experiences, can you draw any conclusions for what has been the happiest times of your life?

Related questions: Is happiness the most important purpose in life? What makes you the happiest? Why do we put up with unhappiness?