After we graduate, a friend of mine took a job that he definitely doesn’t want to, just because it pays well and it’s relatively considered as a popular job among most of his peers.
He started working without any joy, any risk, or any future expectancy except waiting for his pay-check. After getting it, he could be happy by spending it as he wants.
“There is no need to be happy with your job,” he says, “you can be happy outside of it.”
His happiness mechanism works like this:
So far so good.
But, he misses the point that humankind is adaptive. People can be accustomed to changes so quickly that they even forget to appreciate what they already have.
After some time, his salary fell short of his expectations. Even if his company raises his salary, he wanted more so that he can be happier.
Now, imagine that there are millions of people out here similar to him.
These millions want to earn more money but only a small part of them can do that because there isn’t enough opportunity and resource for them all.
And when they couldn’t earn, they become unhappy, reluctant and detached from life. Some of them even gloat over others’ misfortune and don’t like seeing others succeed.
The underlying cause of this problem is the happiness mechanism itself. Ideal mechanism should look like this:
I believe, people can acknowledge that money isn’t the only determinant for success in life when they internalize this ideal happiness mechanism; or at least, their own own happiness mechanisms which they’ve built with common sense.
Success isn’t supposed to be a zero-sum game that some lose while others win.
When people start to realize that, there will be more happy people around.