My favorite band, The Beatles, wrote a song called, “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Well, I don’t think you can buy love and I don’t believe you can buy happiness.
I was at the gym yesterday and ABC news was doing a report on this website called, Happyfy. I couldn’t really hear very well the TV so I went home and looked up the website. I so wanted it to be a spiritual or Buddhist site but it wasn’t.
Immediately when you get to the site there is big picture of a woman in a straw sun hat on the beach reading a book. The woman looks relaxed and bronzed. I wish I could get that tan! The words above the picture read: “The Science of Happiness is here. Ready For The Happier Life You Deserve?” Then there is an orange button below the picture that says, “Get Started Today.”
So I clicked on the button and was brought to a screen that says: “Gain Confidence, Conquer Negative Thoughts, Boost Optimism, Improve Relationships, Reduce Stress…Are you ready to change your life for the better?” Then you’re prompted to a little quiz asking you about your social skills and stress levels among other things.
When you finish the quiz you’re giving a screen of “tracks” to follow. The “tracks” are articles or exercises on the topics of negative thoughts, reducing stress, etc. I clicked on the “Appreciate What You Have” track. I was prompted to an activity which asked me to write down three things I’m grateful for. Well, I do that every day as part of my recovery program.
Now, I think advocating a healthy lifestyle is great and we all could be more grateful so that is helpful but what bothers about this website is the “science behind happiness.” I guess you can throw any information into an algorithm and get some sort of science. What they’re saying to me is, “look at this site! We’ve discovered how you can achieve happiness!” I can just see the creators sitting a big table asking themselves, “Let’s monetize happiness, I mean it’s what everyone wants!”
Trying to sell happiness in my opinion is what they’re doing. This website has a savvy team as well as advertisers and marketers. You don’t get on ABC News by not having some sort of PR person arranging it. They’re making money. This isn’t some side or passion project for any of those involved.
You can do all the “tracks” and exercises you want but it will only be a temporary fix to a deeper problem. In my opinion and I don’t need science to back this up, happiness is an inside job. For me it comes from years of practice living the principles of my recovery program, looking at myself and my character defects and most importantly developing a spiritual life.
I don’t think you’re going to find happiness through a bottle, drug, money, sex, relationship, and career or by doing some reading/exercises on the internet. For me, happiness comes from my connection to my creator and living a principled/spiritual life. I’m always happy when I’m in the sunlight of the spirit.