Happiness is one of the most valuable things in human beings lives. Everybody deserves happiness and yearns to be happy always, as far as life is concerned. People look for every possible way, which will bring joy and happiness to their lives and their loved ones. Being together genuinely is assumed to bring happiness among people who are involved in that unity, especially the marriage institution. Joy and happiness add much value to an individual’s health and to the well being of their lives. When people are happy, they tend to think straight and do positive things. For example, in an organizational context, once motivated and happy, employees tend to perform well towards wellness and success of the whole organization. This contributed by satisfaction in salaries and bonuses remuneration where good pay and big salaries are dreams of every employee. In schools, students need to have some breaks in order to avoid the monotonous of being in classes all the time. This break relieves their minds and increases their concentration in classes, hence it results in a much improved performances. Personally, I love being happy, and it does not matter at which situation I am happy or by which means.
Happiness is determined by various factors such as financial fulfillment, genes, attitude, peoples’ attitude, external factors such as work and much more. Richard Layard has his own definition of happiness or unhappiness. He states such factors as the hedonic treadmill and bi seven. The big seven factors include: work, family relationships, financial situations, health, personal value and personal freedom. In my own point of view, I disagree with Layard, because there is much to happiness than these factors (Buscaglia, 2004).
Layard views happiness as a tangible component that can be measured and rated through factors like personal achievement over a particular time frame. This is not always the case, since people’s attitude towards happiness is different, and different people are satisfied differently depending on their societal, cultural and family backgrounds. Forty years ago, people used different methods of satisfaction, as compared to now. Therefore, Layard’s factors of measures of happiness are not constant over time since many things have changed. The criteria for measuring and determining human happiness should be updated and changed as times go. In this technological world, many technology related gadgets will make people happy than daily needs satisfaction. For example, in my case, alone good work, relationship and families cannot make me happy and much satisfied if I do not get a chance to be updated every time with the technology, on time smart phones, on time and updated laptops, the most advanced cars, etc. (Layard, 2005).
Talking of family and relationships, some and may be a lot of people do not need relationships or family members in order to be happy. In fact, people prefer to go out and mingle with friends who are not their family. People value their families more than anything else and at times they cannot see the essence of their family members and the true relationships among them. Therefore, though family is a crucial aspect in the people’s lives, it does not really determine the happiness. I love my family, but not at all times they determine my happiness. This is different from Layard who puts family and relationships as a source of happiness (Andreas & Faulkner, 1999).
Some people think of happiness as something more than just money. Increased income makes one meet his/ her personal obligations and makes one satisfied, because he/ she meets the needs. Lack of money does not necessarily mean lack of happiness, and having a lot of money does not mean that one will live happily in the future. According to Layard, in his concept of the big seven, he states that once a person has enough money to cater for his/ her needs, and that a person has good permanent and pensionable job, will live happily. According to me, money is good and is one of the sources of happiness. Once the income increases, people who are involved get much joy or overjoyed to the instance change. Once they are used to that large amount of money which they receive and start interacting with other people with much more money, they start demanding more. Happiness that was derived at first by the increase in money fades and an individual starts normal routines of searching for more money. There is a state of an individual’s mind where no amount of money is enough to make one happy. If it were not so, why do billionaires and tycoons keep on investing more and more? I would say that to some point, money gives a person happiness for a short time after which life goes back to normal, and they continue with their daily routines.
Love is the greatest of all sources of joy and happiness in the entire world. As Leo Buscaglia states, love is good, especially when exercised with open arms to others, but if one love with closed arms, he/ she will be tying to him/ herself. People are mostly unhappy, because they love with conditions and do not want to give all in love. Love should be unconditional, but not loving and expecting to be loved in return. In my opinion, it is hard and sometimes unexercisable to love something or someone unconditionally. This situation hurts much and makes one to lose hope. If I find someone to love and who will love me back as I love him that will make happy forever. Such a person will console me in the time when I am grieved, encourage me when I am down and relieve my stress. Regardless of having money and other things that are thought to bring joy and happiness in people’s lives, with love everything is good and fine. Lack of satisfaction and unfaithfulness in love affairs makes a person to be unhappy and go outside to search for more satisfaction and better companion.
To me one crucial thing that contradicts people’s happiness is lack of freedom in environment they are. Every creature in the entire universe even animals deserves freedom and yearns to exercise it with every chance they get. Freedom results to happiness and other factors that are thought to be determinants of happiness. Money, love, families and relationships make no sense without. People need freedom to make use of the above things given to them. Layard should have improved the argument by adding the concept of freedom in the list of the big seven. Even without the above benefits, people will still be happy given freedom to whatever one likes. When a person has freedom, he/she even is able to think accordingly and straight. The state of mind that one is being restricted by some external forces to do what they like most bring the state of unhappiness in their lives. I feel that institutions especially government should not force people to follow rules and regulations instead; they should leave them to follow by their own. It is necessary to impose some level of punishment to those who breaks it. Layard’s concept of determinants of happiness is good and acceptable. However, it does not meet all the factors that determine people’s level of happiness and unhappiness. He should have expounded, especially on the hedonic treadmill where much was supposed to be added (Grant, 2014).
In conclusion, it is better to know different personalities that exist among people. Not everything that makes one person happy will make the other one happy. However, in order for every individual to exercise and utilize to the fullest what they feel is good to themselves and makes them happy, freedom should be granted to everyone without limits. Presence of freedom without restriction is the most valuable gift that one can have or be given by fellow people. Just like in organizations and community settings, when a parent gives their children freedom to choose what they want in life, they become very happy and choose what are the best courses for their entire live (Hornung, 2006).