According to international pollster Gallup, based on a poll of nearly 150,000 people worldwide conducted in 2011, Singapore came out tops on the list of countries that are least happy.
To be honest, I was surprised and yet not. Singapore is a pretty well-to-do country, well-organised and well-governed, in most senses of the word.
Yet, we’ve all been labelled as “unhappy people.”
A little video went out to the streets of Singapore to ask people “What makes YOU happy?” Here are some popular answers:
- My wife / husband.
- When the kids are happy.
- Time. To rest. Exercise. Do the things we love. Spend time with the people we love.
(Things that people living on the other end of the globe could probably be saying too huh?)
It struck me to realise that the things that make us happy are pretty universal, shared across nationalities, ethnicities, gender, and socio-economic status. They relate to every human being’s most intrinsic needs – We all want to be loved, want to feel safe, be understood, and valued by others, especially our loved ones. Don’t we?
I think thankfulness is one of the major keys to happiness.
But when we start comparing with the Joneses, or seeing and desiring the things that we don’t have, it can start to feel pretty ugly inside.
Also, a simple act of kindness and helping others. Somehow never fails to make us feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Ultimately, happiness lies in our own little hands. We can all take steps towards happiness today. By appreciating ourselves and our spouses, counting our blessings, cherishing time with family (despite our individual weaknesses and quirks), and enjoying our children.
Seeing my little ones jump and tear down the pathway towards the playground makes me happy.
Receiving a hug and a kind loving word from my husband at the end of the day makes me happy.
Making time to dig into a good book, or going for a walk and counting bees and flowers make me happy.
We may all have our struggles, our fears, our worries, but by breathing out life’s stressful moments, and breathing in such moments of inexpressible joy and delight (and letting them linger in my heart) keeps me grounded, and helps me navigate this journey we’re all on – parenthood.
Joy is a way of life. An intentional choice.
When our kids see us making that choice, I’m sure they are likely to make similar choices in future. Positive. With a bright outlook on life. Resilient. People who try to make the best out of the lemons that life may bring.
What do you think? And what makes you happy?
If you have 4.5 minutes, do watch this video to see what other Singaporeans are saying:
This is an original post by June Yong of Singapore, for World Moms Blog. June blogs about motherhood and other joys, over at Mama Wear Papa Shirt.
Photo credited to http://quotez.co/there-is-always-something-to-be-thankful-for-happiness-quotes/
I totally agree with you. 🙂
A phrase that has stuck with me is that we should stop comparing our “behind the scenes” with other people’s “show reel”. In other words, we don’t know what really goes on in someone else’s life.
In Italy we have a similar saying that roughly translates as; “if everyone walked around with their troubles tattooed on their foreheads, we would pity many of those we now envy”!
Having an “attitude of gratitude” is the key to feeling happy!
I know I sound like a fortune-cookie, but I’ll leave you with one more quote:
“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have” (Frederick Keonig)
I wish you all love & happiness 🙂
Hi Simona, I love that first quote too! It’s so hard to NOT compare right? But yeah it’s silly and we end up making ourselves feel small and overlooking all the good and positive aspects of our lives. Inspired by what Jen shared below, I think I should start a “Thanksgiving journal” too, just to note down the many blessings that can easily go by overlooked each day…no matter how small or big they are. 🙂
Great post, June!! My daughter (6) and I just started a happiness journal, inspired by Lady E’s Tedx Talk in Bali on happiness. My fellow World Moms are inspiring me!! Love this topic!
My daughter draws a picture of what makes her happy and then writes about it the best she can.
I love the idea of a happiness journal Jen!! I can imagine all the sunny and happy pics already!
I went through a phase of hating my life just because I saw what people have that I don’t have. This is not the right way of finding happiness. If we start comparing ourselves to people we will always find something that we would like to have (but we don’t have it while others do), we would like to be (but we are not while others are), we would like to do (but we don’t while others do)…
Today if I don’t have what I want I try to work hard to deserve it and to get it without feeling sorry for myself or jealous of others. I am way happier that way and way more thankful of the little things in my life…
“Ultimately, happiness lies in our own little hands.” You are so right June! Today was a hectic today, but when I was interacting with someone and they said I sounded frazzled, I decided to not reflect on the chaos, but on a happy thought….and I said, “I am thankful for the beautiful sunshine and bright blue sky today.” It put a smile on my face and just helped me move through the rest of the day in a more positive way.
Thanks for sharing!
Love this post!
I’m not happy most of the time after giving up my full-time job (but friends around me are actually envious of what I have, WAHM with 2 teenage kids). They wanted to be in my shoes, but they don’t know is a tough life being WAHM. Then I realised, why do I want to be in other people’s shoes (when people around me want be in mine). I started to count on my blessings and be thankful for what I have. Things which I would love to own (but I don’t need) I just keep them in Pinterest, then I virtually own them 🙂 and I’m happy.