Happiness is a state of mind and any person can achieve happiness if they are able to appreciate the situations of their life. Happiness can be achieved with the simplest activities such as when a child shares her favorite biscuits with her friends, or when a son listens to his mother. Two famous persons namely, Richard Branson and Jordan Peterson have interesting and differing views on the search for true happiness. Therefore, I would be sharing their views as well as my understanding of finding true happiness. According to Richard Branson in the article “key to happiness”, he claimed that happiness should not be regarded as a goal. He believes that finding true happiness lies in focusing on others instead of the self. He also views happiness to be achieved by enjoying life as it comes than trying to do things directly to achieve happiness. He focused on personality function, health, charity, altruistic behavior, and spending quality time to achieve happiness. He also claimed that actively seeking and valuing happiness, will lead to disappointment due to their desired level of happiness (Ng, 2018).
Personality In the personality aspect, it is the ability of the person to handle various emotional situations and participate in activities that provide stimulation as well as appreciate the magnitude of interpersonal communication. A person who is emotionally stable and highly extroverted can achieve gratification and enjoys positive emotion while reducing the impact of negative emotions (Ng, 2018). Giving He shared that trying to gain wealth does provide happiness but to a certain extent only. He claimed that spending money on others does bring more happiness. When a person spends his money for the betterment of others such as by giving to charity, he addresses his needs such as relatedness, autonomy, and being competent Empirical evidence shows that donating to good causes has helped people to achieve happiness than those who do not. Furthermore, those who volunteer also lead healthier and longer life than those who don’t. All these imply that altruistic behaviors enhance the well-being of a person and reduce the impact of negative emotions (Ng, 2018).
Time Research indicates that a person spending quality time with family and the community tends to be happier, healthier, and live longer when compared to those who do not spend time with others. Similarly, those who spend their time with their life partner are happier than those who are single (Ng, 2018). In addition, actively participating in social activities that help to bring people together as one community also brings about happiness. In summary, Richard Branson's idea of happiness lies in the altruism and ability to relate to society which brings about the well-being of satisfaction that leads to achieving happiness. Jordan Peterson in the article “Happiness is a pointless goal”, claims that it is evil in all of us, life is full of problems and happiness should not be the aim of living. One should live their life morally than serve others therefore, one should make their own world by being responsible for yourself (Lott, 2018). He shared that there are monsters within the people and it is seen when people lash out in a social network where their identity is kept anonymous. He claims that happiness is just a side-effect of things we do, and it should not even be an aim in life. He believes that people are born with certain morality and the meaning of life which require them to take responsibility for themselves. In addition, he claims one should appreciate malevolence and the ability to create evil as we hate those who are better than us. He believes in becoming a bad person and then keeping ill-intention feelings within ourselves. When comparing both of their ways, there are many differences between them. Firstly, Mr. Branson advocate serving others and taking a selfless stance in achieving happiness while Mr. Peterson argues that self-importance is crucial, and happiness is not on the life radar. Secondly, Mr. Branson mentioned that giving to others fulfills innate needs as well as being with others while Mr. Peterson advises taking responsibility for self. Thirdly, Mr. Branson advised me to take on life as it comes while Mr. Peterson mentioned that life is complicated and hard. Fourthly, Mr. Branson shares on spending quality time with a loved one and the community while Mr. Peterson replies on self-reflection of the past and emphasizes resentment. Mr. Peterson also advocates taking the evil side to solve the problem than being a nice person. In terms of similarity between them is that happiness should not be regarded as a goal in life. Both are from a western world where individualism plays an important role however Mr. Branson preaches collectivism while Mr. Peterson takes the lead on individualism to achieve happiness. I agree with Mr. Branson's views on achieving happiness in terms of giving and time. I may suspect that Mr. Peterson is affected by his daughter's sickness which caused him to see the world from a darker angle (Lott, 2018). In this world, there is no ‘I’ because we have people all around us at any point in time. From birth to death, there are always people around us. When we are a child, we have our parents around us, in school, we have friends, at work, we have colleagues, in married life, we have a life partner and eventually, we have children and grandchildren, etc. Therefore, our life revolves around other people than ourselves.
Family, Money, and Happiness Happiness is achieved when we spend quality time with a loved one. Studies have shown that when comparing money and family lead to happiness, money does bring happiness to life but it is limited until our basic needs are addressed while spending time with family brings about greater happiness than family income (Boyles, 2008). Therefore, one should work hard to achieve family needs as well as spend quality time with family. Quality time does not mean watching television as a family but more interactions that occur while watching and after the show. Sharing of events and experiences also constitutes having quality time. Quality time also includes actively participating in a social setting such as block parties at the void deck and festive celebrations at work and community. If time is pressing the issue and mundane activities take away your time, we can outsource the mundane activities such as household chores and cooking, which gives more time for desired activities(Whillans, Dunn, Smeets, Bekkers & Norton, 2017).
Health and Happiness Incorporating a healthy lifestyle into our daily hectic life such as taking stairs and eating moderately does bring happiness. Studies have shown that healthier people appreciate life more than those in poor health. People with poor health such as major illness will have reduced life satisfaction (Easterlin, 2003). Therefore, we should strive to have a healthier lifestyle that gives longevity. It is also stated that healthy relationships with life partners correlated with strong immunity which enhances health and happiness (Scott, 2018). In summary, it is important for one to appreciate life as it comes while having a positive mindset of overcoming any challenges. Strong support from the loved one, adequately wealthy, ability to meet basic needs and serve others, will lead one to achieve happiness in life.