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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 12 2012: I suppose being "disadvantaged" or "underprivileged " or "marginalized" or etc. allows one to be more attuned to things they should be thankful for.

    There are no extremes of over-arching rule though. There are always exceptions to the rule from both sides of the fence in anything. Privileged or advantaged folks may or may not be happy/thankful as underprivileged/disadvantaged ones may or may not be miserable.

    I have seen and experienced very depressing and horrid acts and situations... It just seems to me as I observe and learn from others and as I have experienced personally that when you are down, there is simply more real or potential things to be grateful about.

    When in the dark, people have more propensity to see even the faintest glimmer.

    As coupled and interrelated they may be in several perspective. a simple disconnection and qualification between contentment, gratitude, and happiness really helps.

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