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  • Dr. Amanda Cressman, N.D.

Happiest Person Alive

Apparently they have found the “happiest person in the world”. He was selected from information given from thousands of Americans who reported what the demographics would be of the happiest person alive. So now we know, Alvin Wong lives in Hawaii and will forever be known as the happiest person alive in 2011.

I find this perplexing and somewhat disturbing. Disturbing, as it was apparently only Americans sharing their opinion of happiness for the world title and perplexing, as we have such a desire to “be” happy.

There are over 170 million hits that come up in Google when you search for “happy books”, we continually see movies being made where the main characters are pursuing happiness and we, on a day to day basis ask and demand happiness of ourselves and others.

Why is this a pursuit? Why do we have a tendency to feel as though we have failed if this is not achieved or felt frequently?

In the book, Happier by Tal Ben-Shahar, he states that happiness is ‘the overall experience of pleasure and meaning’ and goes to explain that this definition is not to be focused on a single moment but should better reflect the totality of one’s experience. That when your life is completed you can look back on everything – the good, the bad, the beautiful as well as the ugly and that that, is happiness. It comes from the summation of an experience, not the individual moments. This works for me, as I think it is a more realistic and manageable feat.

So many of us feel as though we should always be on top; always managing, succeeding, doing and being what we deem a happy person ‘should’. But this doesn’t take into consideration for the natural and necessary ebbs and flow that life provides and for your individual journey. The seasons of nature are here with purpose to remind us of this rhythm.

Happiness is great, but I think what is better still, is authenticity for what is. For me, there is no greater experience than being ok with where I am, when I’m there. And that could be anywhere within the seasons of life…I think that creates the best happiness possible, accepting what is compared to what “should be”.

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