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The Illusion of Happiness

Updated on December 1, 2013

"Happiness is all about well-being, a sense of fulfillment. That's different from how happiness is promoted- it's all about do this or use that and you'll find

Happiness is a state of mind, an illusion that has no aspect with reality. Happiness is just an emotion that you briefly experience at the moment in time. The illusion that society creates to portray happiness revolves around obtaining the perfect house/home, family, career, degree etc. A life full of happiness and acceptance of oneself, ultimately becomes the most commonly told lie in your life. You continuously try to surround yourself with the belief that deep inside, you have achieved true happiness and that you've come accept all your flaws and shortcomings. Happiness becomes an illusion when we do something just because we think it could bring us happiness. We are raised to believe that satisfaction builds a pave way to happiness, but is it really in our nature to truly feel satisfied? Can we build a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction based on the illusion of happiness that society has created?

As human beings, one of our biggest influences is society itself. To become happy, society has a list of things you must obtain before you are able to live the happiest life you can live. Some examples lie within the foundation of our society, top careers, the perfect family, an incredible house, and the best degrees, are essentials to obtaining a "happy" life. A great TV show that helps prove this point is MTV Cribs. When anybody sees the show, we automatically think 'If only I had that that house' or ' I wish I was born into that family'. Does that really bring us happiness though? Sure it can bring us comfort when we have the biggest house around. Our lives would be easier if we didn't have to worry about money but it wouldn't necessarily mean happiness. In the article "Learning by Tison," written by Tom Hewitt, the narrator describes a village he was visiting to film a project and how the villagers were dirt poor, but despite that all the villagers found happiness in poverty and were all happy enjoying a soccer game in a field that was mostly all dirt. " They lived in aluminum-and-wood shacks with tiny yards. . . despite all this, everyone at the game were happy"(Tom Hewitt). This quote brings us back to the example of the show MTV and how having lavish live doesn't bring us happiness.

Although society can be an influence on our own happiness, we make ourselves believe the biggest lies to make us "feel happy". We all go through very difficult hardships throughout our lives. We lose people we love, we get fired from jobs, we lose things all the time! Yet for example, let's say that you just broke up with your boyfriend/girlfriend. When everyone else is concerned for you, you just try to convince everyone, including yourself, that ending the relationship was for the best and you are happy to move on with your life. Let's face it as much as you try to convince yourself that you are happy and ecstatic to move on, you aren't. The same thing can be said when you lose a job; you continuously try to convince yourself that you didn't need the job, that you will find a better one. Unfortunately, lies only manage to scratch the surface of our minds, deep down the truth is like a ripple, constantly reminding you of reality. That job could have been a good paying job and it supported your family rather well. Now what can you do? Pretend that your full of "happiness" and move on; as we have been raised to do.

Most would say that happiness only comes when you are satisfied in life. It is in our nature as human beings to never be truly satisfied. Therefore, we can never achieve true happiness. An example might be a job. Let's say that you finally got that promotion you always wanted. Sure, you'll be happy and satisfied for a few minutes, maybe a few days, but then that new promotion doesn't satisfy you anymore. You want the next big promotion and you won't be happy until you succeed once again, until you have achieved that sense of fulfillment and satisfaction that came with the last promotion. But what happens after that? The cycle keeps on going until there aren't any more promotions. It is human nature to always strive for more, we can never remain at a stand still. As a society, and as individuals, we will always keep moving forward, always desiring for more, never having enough...and never being satisfied with what we have.

Everyone has his or her opinion of what happiness is truly about. Some would say it's having their dream career and others would say having a family that is well and healthy. However, is it your own happiness or the illusion of happiness that society makes us believe? Happiness is an illusion that could never take form, because different things make people happy. If happiness was real, then it wouldn't need to tie in with society or material things, it wouldn't need to be based on desires, it would just exist without a cause and without us ever needing to convince ourselves that our "happiness" is not a lie and that it exists.


Hewitt, Tom. "Learning from Tison." The Sun Star 15 Dec. 2009: n. page. Print.


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