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What Price Happiness? 

Ask the average person in the street this question and they could probably tell you the price of a luxury holiday, the cost of a new car or the house they aspire to live in, but would struggle with quantifying happiness.

It is only when it comes to making an actual choice towards happiness and fulfilment, that the price you are really prepared to pay becomes apparent.

For example, if faced with a decision about a life partner - to stay in drudgery with someone you don't love or open a door of opportunity to find it elsewhere, what would you give up in order to find a more meaningful relationship?

For some, it would seem that they would rather put up with the drudgery and keep the same home environment, the same routines, the same people in their life. There is comfort in "status quo", where things don't change much, where even if it is uncomfortable (and perhaps downright painful at times), it seems better than not knowing what the future might bring.

People can endure the harshest treatment in the pursuit of "no change". They will put on a brave face to others, cover up abuse, pretend everything is fine and all along feel ashamed. Ashamed perhaps because they feel that they deserve this punishment, ashamed that others will think they are weak or ashamed because they know they are letting themselves down. They will defend their partner/abuser, take on their ideologies and promote them as their own. This way, they fool themselves in to thinking they are shared ideas, instead of admitting to themselves that they are not being true to their own values, but living someone else's.

This is one end of the scale of what people will endure for the sake of maintaining the status quo. More often it comes down to situations like - "well there is no love between me and my partner, but if we split up it means upheaval, selling the house, starting again!" So, you put up with not being happy or fulfilled in your relationship, because you put so much energy into your career, home, money, "long term security", that it becomes too big a price to let go of it.

Another difficult life choice for some is in choosing a job.

If faced with career choices, where one option could be exciting and fulfil your inner dreams, versus something more mundane, but the pay is better, which would you choose? It's surprising how many people go for the money and then wonder why they aren't happy in their work!

Money, house, cars, "lifestyle" have become the mantra and the measuring stick of society and it takes effort to choose something different. Is the better job the one with the biggest salary? Is the best dress the one with the biggest price tag?

Money counts, but is it the ONLY yardstick for measuring the best for you in your circumstances?

When life isn't too hard, people generally don't have any impetus to do things differently, they'll accept their situation rather than strive for more. Security in terms of assets (financial or material) will bring comfort and provide for basic needs, but rarely brings true happiness or meaning to life.

Some of the most frequently asked questions in psychic readings are about "finding happiness" or "being happy", yet risking their comfort seems to be too high a price for most to pay in order to achieve it.

The Australian election results have shown that people today may be interested in social and environmental issues, but when it came to the crunch have voted for no change and the continuance of the existing government. Even though a large number of people have spoken out against their policies and values (very loudly at times), when it came to a choice, people have shown they will put up with things they don't like in order to keep the status quo. It will be interesting to see if the same thing happens in the US elections. Whether, despite the anti-war sentiments and the general opposition to the current situation in Iraq, people will vote from their hip pocket or from their principles.

Next time you have a life choice to make, think about how many times in your life you have put your own values and ideals lower on the list to money, comfort or even other people's interests?



Go to TOP of page(J Hargreaves 11th October 2004)


What price happiness? -










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