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/