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Tony Dunne

Independent Business Owner, ACN Pacific,

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Why do people who have many advantages in life struggle with ongoing happiness whilst others with far less to be happy about are happier?

Its common for people with many advantages, physical, mental, environmental, family etc to be unhappy and depressed.

On the other hand people with the exact opposite are often far more happy in themselves, with their lives and about the future.

I personally know a blind person, one of my very best friends who lost his sight at age 16. Now at age 24 he is the happiest guy you would ever meet, very optimistic and positive and he believes his blindness is a gift that has helped him develop other parts of himself that he may never have even been aware of.

Clearly our view of the world has a profound impact on our outlook in life but thats the confusing part. If you have a great upbringing and many of the trappings of "a great life", then how do the people with those advantages of birth and environment continue to fall short in their overall happiness yet the people with severe obstacles are often the happiest.

We can assume that the things we all focus on and value the most are what gives us our sense of self. Is the answer as simple as the quality of our values and beliefs are the driving force behind our happiness?

Would people benefit from living as say a blind person for a 3 month term so as to develop other more enduring drivers to happiness?

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  • Aug 11 2012: In my opinion, the ultimate happiness is having trust in yourself as the driver of your life.

    For myself, I often struggle with relationships and feeling disconnected from other people. Sometimes this does lead me to be very sad and to forget all of the wonderful things in my life (I try not to show this sadness to others). However, over the past few years I've tried to "put myself out there" more, yielding some very positive (and of course less positive at times) results. Facing this struggle and coming through it has brought me a greater sense of happiness because I trust myself more. I understand my strengths, and I understand that I can't be strong at everything, so while I try to improve some of my weaknesses, some of them I just let go. Striving to be your best self, which will inevitably cause you to go through struggles and times of discomfort, leads to a higher sense of satisfaction and self-trust, which will give you a greater sense of peace, which is very important for happiness.

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