People have tried to define happiness and identify factors that influence it for centuries. There are many ideas on this matter but there is no simple answer to the question. Of course, it is difficult to understand what happiness is and it is even more difficult to become a happy person. However, it is still possible to identify some factors that are likely to affect the degree of happiness.
Interestingly, some scientists have tried to prove that happiness has a biological basis. For instance, it has been suggested that certain genes can be a significant factor that affects people’s happiness (The pursuit of happiness could be dictated by your genes 2014, para. 3). However, it is quite debatable as it is hard to believe that only genes are responsible for being happy. Happiness is a complex feeling and, therefore, it is likely to be caused by several factors though it is also necessary to remember that some people are more cheerful than others due to their temper. Thus, a sunny day can make many people feel good and happy while many less cheerful people may need additional things to feel happy.
It is also important to state that culture is one of the central factors affecting happiness. For instance, for Americans liberty is one of the most valued things. Richey (2014) stresses that liberty and the pursuit of happiness are mentioned in the US declaration of independence. He also tells what makes him as well as many Americans are happy. He notes that economic and personal liberty makes people feel good. Americans love (and even need) to make decisions concerning their lives. Being able to spend days in a way they want and to buy things they want makes Americans happy.
At the same time, many people do not care about purchases or things around them. The pursuit of happiness for them is gaining experiences (Harrison 2014). Such individuals love traveling and meeting people, learning about, and trying new things. Some people need to be in the spotlight and they find communication the most important thing in their life. These people focus on their image and the way others see them. There is also a type of people who need to help others and they devote their lives to this.
Of course, there can be biological, psychological, and cultural factors. These all factors are usually combined and people’s happiness depends on a variety of components. However, societies and cultures play the most important role in making people happy as the happiness of individuals (in the majority of cases) involves interaction with others. These others can be members of family, colleagues, friends, fans, followers, or even total strangers.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that many factors influence happiness. There can also be many definitions of happiness. However, all people have to define happiness for them personally so that they could be happy as being happy is the most important thing for a human being.
Harrison, P 2014, The psychology of marketing, money and happiness. Web.
Richey, T 2014, The pursuit of happiness – what did Jefferson mean? (Declaration of independence). Web.
The pursuit of happiness could be dictated by your genes 2014. Web.