Have you ever wondered where you fall on the happiness scale? Are most people happier or less happy than you are? According to a Scripps Howard/Ohio University survey of 1,007 U.S. adults, about 52 percent of Americans say they are “very happy” with their lives, with 43 percent reporting they are “fairly happy,” 3 percent said they are “not too happy” and 2 percent undecided. In Britain, Gallup polls show that only 36 percent claim they are “very happy” which is down from 52% in 1957.
Now that you know, I want to tell you that simply do not matter. Many people who are not to happy or only fairly happy struggle with personal happiness simply because they do not rate their personal happiness as very important. However, our personal happiness is very important and should rate among your top priorities. In fact, it really is not selfish to consider your own happiness as your top priority for the following three reasons.
You are important
It is true. You are an important person. I don’t care about your profession, employment status, or income. You are important. Look back at your past. Think about how different the world around you might be if you had not been born. How has your life impacted others? Don’t dismiss small contributions as unimportant because the truth is that it is often these many small changes that lead to a greater good.
Now think about your life right now. How many people depend on you among your family, friends, and community? If you stayed in bed tomorrow how many lives would be impacted by your absence?
Now think about your future. What potential exists for your life to impact the lives of others? Think about your home and family, your friends and community, and your professional life. Don’t think about probabilities but rather possibilities. You have the potential to change many lives just by being you and living your life.
You are important because you are the sum total of all these effects: your past, your present, and your future. What you have done, what you are doing, and what you can do in the future are all the elements that make you an important and valuable person who deserves to be happy.
Your happiness affects your family and friends
While your family and friends should not depend on you to make them happy it is very true that if you are unhappy you can make it much more difficult for others around you to be happy.
There is an old saying that frequently crops up on sit-coms and tee shirts, “If Momma Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy.” This is often good for a laugh but we all know it is true. If a parent is unhappy then often the rest of the household will be unhappy too. It only take one bad apple to spoil the whole barrel, as another old saying goes, and this is true whenever any group of humans gathers together. If one friend or family member is not happy then their unhappiness can spread to infect the others in the group.
You deserve to be happy for yourself but you should also strive for happiness so if you are going to spread a mood then it will be a good one.
Your happiness affects the world
How many times have you been simply going through life, not really in a good or bad mood, and then someone took a moment to give you a smile. What happened to your mood? Did you smile back? Another old saying is that smiles are contagious and this may be a very powerful argument for your own personal happiness. Can you imagine possessing the power to spread smiles? You do not need to imagine it because you already possess that power. You simply need to get yourself into the habit of smiling. Smile at your loved ones, smile at your friends, and smile at strangers on the street, and soon you will be making a strong contribution to making the world a happier place.
Your happiness is important because you are a significant person, your mood impacts your family and friends, and your happiness affects the world.