Posted in pursuit of happiness

why do we crave “episodic happiness”?

i wonder frequently; why is there an innate need to compare yourself to others or situations of others to realize your own self worth and in some cases even for being happy in your life.? It’s interesting to note that a large component of our day 2 day happiness is driven when we compare our “fate” or “achievements” with others.

This type of behavior has exponentially expanded with the massive adoption of social media where the access to what “others” are doing is very easy. I believe social media platforms such as FB, Twitter, Instagram, have tapped into the innate need and have successfully monetized it which is brilliant in concept but could have terrifying consequences. What do you call this type of happiness?… Colloquially, i just call it “Episodic happiness” as it’s transient in nature and never lasts for long… The examples are many – I got better grades than Joe in math – yay!… My house is bigger than Janes.. I was promoted much faster than anyone else.. My car, my vacations, my selfies, ….. the list goes on. Even in committed relationships.. comparisons reign supremee… “why do you spend so much time with X… ?” ” do you know Y husband does this for her…”

One thing i did notice though is the mind of a child (<3 years old)… is not wired that way. They don’t compare with others for happiness… They are relatively content and as long as you allow them to eat, sleep and play (even on their own) the peace with which they live is something to wish for in our lives. It could also be the case that they have not been corrupted by our society yet. So how do you go beyond episodic happiness and truly get experience sustainable happiness…?


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