We can be satisfied but not really happy. Being satisfied in principle means that you are provided with the basic needs (food, shelter, safety and human contact) and that there is also room for enjoyment. Satisfaction is also different for everyone and very much depending on the environment where you live. You unconsciously compare, past and present, of your own prosperity and social position with those of the people around you. If there are no major differences, you will be satisfied faster than when there are. In addition, when this state of satisfaction exists for a long time, there is room and urge in the human mind to focus on other interests and questions of life.
So to be happy, something extra is needed. This extra is that we also need the feeling of being useful, that our existence is recognized and makes a difference. We can only get this recognition from other people, from people we have direct contact with. We can be very useful for the society in which we live but that usefulness is anonymous because it goes through the organization for which we work and in which we contribute a small part. How differently do we feel when we help someone who has dropped the groceries or unexpectedly had a nice conversation through a compliment we gave about clothing, behavior, good mood, etc.
This is the reason that in almost all capitalist societies people are satisfied but not happy. We have less and less direct contact with “strangers” and we often find it difficult/frightening to ask the other person something. This society is designed to train us into hard-working consumers, especially status and fashion-sensitive, that keeps you happy with enjoyment. Enjoy good food, new clothes, the newest cell phone, nice car, large TV, fast laptop, etc… All these purchases give a sense of fulfillment but unfortunately, this feeling will not last for long and we need a new kick. Because of all that working and to meet the demands of our society, we are often tired and just want to relax and clear our minds. In the Netherlands, 17% of employees indicate that they experience a burn-out and even 37% of work-related stress leads to sick leave.
What can we do to feel h So our happiness is actually based on three things; usefulness, enjoyment, and satisfaction. It is clear that we cannot focus on one or two of the three. We need all of them to a more or less equal degree. It is also clear that there is a great need for interaction with people, to some extent also animals. How?
What if we spend a little less money on all things material, and instead of hiding behind these material pleasures we go out more and share experiences. If we and everyone in our immediate environment make a list of what is fun / educational/challenging to do and we realize one every month, we will certainly feel happier!