I used to be happier even though i had less resources
“Farouk, few years ago i used to be much happier. I am really confused because nowadays i have much more resources than the ones i used to have few years ago.
I used to have two or three friends now i have many, i used to get money from my parents now i have my own job and i didn’t use to have a car and now i have one
how come i am not that happy nowadays?”
This is a popular question that i get often and i am sure you have asked yourself the same question at least once in your life.
Have you ever found yourself less happy than you used to be even though you now posses more things than the things you possessed the last time you felt really happy?
Can this dilemma be explained?
of course it can, luckily you arrived to 2knowmyself.
What is happiness? happiness is the feeling a person gets when he manages to find a way to fulfill his most important unmet needs and desires that were developed as a result of the experiences he have been through. (see Unmet needs psychology)
The only child who used to get all the attention of his parents might grow up to become an attention seeking adult, or in other words, he will develop the need for being in the center of attention.
If that child managed to get the attention he is in need of during college years then certainly college time will be a happy period of his life provided that all other factors are constant.
Of course human beings are too complex to have one single need. That’s why your happiness levels depends on your ability to satisfy all of your important needs.
If at a certain time of your life you managed to satisfy 4 out of 5 of your most important needs then this period of your life is going to be a very happy one.
On the other hand if only one of these needs was satisfied and the other 4 were not satisfied then certainly you won’t be happy during that period.
So how come can a person become less happy with more resources?
So if that’s true then how come can a person become less happier after acquiring more resources?
During college days my friend had two basic needs. Being loved by his friends and succeeding at his life. During that time life success was measured by only one thing; his grades at college.
When he graduated the definition of success in life changed from just getting good grades to earning a very high salary, but because he was unsure about the future of his career that important need wasn’t satisfied and so he didn’t feel that good.
In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i said that unmet needs remain the same but the rules of the game change. Being popular at home is way different than being popular at college while being popular at both is way different than being popular in real life (post graduation).
The happiness formula
Whenever you want to understand why you are not happy don’t just look at what you have but instead compare what you have to your current important needs.
If you were the preferred child within your family then based on that need you will want to be the preferred student at school or the preferred guy at college. Now if at any point of your life you didn’t manage to satisfy that need then you will find yourself feeling unhappy even if you have much more resources than the resources you used to have.