How your perception affects your happiness levels

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How happiness levels change

When Jason got his first job he was really happy with the 1000 dollars he gets at the end of each month. Most of Jason's friends were earning salaries that are below that range and because it mattered to him so much to be one of the highest earners among his friends this job made him so happy.

The first thing you need to know about happiness is that you will experience it when you achieve the goals that matter the most to you.

2 years later Many of Jason's friends got promoted and as a result he felt that he was left out earning the lowest salary and so he started to feel really bad. Even though Jason was earning the same salary he was happy with he became no longer satisfied with his job because he started seeing things differently.

2 years ago he was really happy with the amount he earned but now that same amount is considered low and that's why he became less happy than before.

How your perception affects your happiness levels

Your perception of the things you have greatly affects your happiness levels. In my article I used to be happier before i explained how your happiness levels can be reduced without anything major happening in your life just because you started to see things differently.

In my book, The ultimate guide to getting over depression i said that when your perception changes the whole happiness equation changes. Here is how the happiness equation looks like when taking perception into consideration:

The things you care about the most * How you think you are close/far from them (perception) = Your happiness levels

This equation can explain why can a person be happier than another one who has much more resources than him. An ordinary person could be much happier than a millionaire if he thinks that he has enough money while the later thinks that he should be a billionaire.

And as usual i have to go back to the most controversial question about happiness which is can money buy happiness. Well according to this equation the answer is it depends on how important money is to you and your perception of your own wealth at that point of time.

How to be happy in life?

In order to be happy you first need to understand yourself in order to know what matters to you the most. The problem so many people face is that they don't really know what matters to them and as a result they follow different happiness schools that doesn't suit their needs. (See also Why hapiness advice don't work for you)

Lets suppose your subconscious mind wanted you to be rich in such a case following a happiness school that says that money can't buy happiness will only make you sad since it will move you away from the thing you want the most.

If you didn't care about money and all you valued was freedom then getting a 9-5 job that pays really good will also make you sad because you didn't take your most important need into consideration (freedom).

The final conclusion you should have reached is that the happiness levels don't just depend on what you have but also on how you see what you have.

Do looks really matter? Can an unattractive person attract a very attractive one? Yes its quite possible and this is exactly what Jane's Code is all about. A revolutionary book that explains how love can be manipulated no matter who you are or how you look like.

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