Guest Post: What is Happiness?

For the first time, I could not be at The Kickback , so I was unable to take my usual notes.  However, Naomi Gabriel took over in my absence and here she provides insight into the conversation.

The Kickback’s theme on February 20th theme was ‘What is Happiness?’ As Shaniqua was away in Belgium, Stephen Roachford held the night’s session.

Stephen started off by saying that he thought it was a great time of year to discuss this topic – “We are well into the New Year, hopefully seeing the goals we set just under two months ago in action, but do you think achieving your goals makes you happy?”

After a brief introduction of ourselves, eight in the room, his first question was, what makes you happy? Most of the group agreed that it was found from being content, having appreciation and seeing joy in the ‘small things’.

Judith described that for her it was about “giving and gaining” – helping others and learning from past mistakes. Mustafa said for him it’s about “being in the moment – I have been searching for happiness for six years and have found it is owning the moment.” Helen-Faith added that she felt it was a journey “to complete inner fulfilment.”

After we all shared our view on what we believed happiness is, Stephen dropped the bomb and asked, “Are you happy?” The general consensus was that yes, everyone in the group was happy. I thought it would be quite difficult for anyone to admit to a group of people you don’t know well and say you are unhappy (if that was the case).

I may have chosen to disagree with the group, but Mustafa mentioned that “Happiness is a choice, and we all have that choice,” so by that logic I definitely did not want to choose to be unhappy.

Stephen then asked, “What colour, if any, do you see or relate happiness to?” Yellow was a common answer. Mustafa said that for him, everything is just brighter and red was the colour of choice for Stephen.

The next question was can money buy happiness? Helen-Faith said, ‘It depends on what your values are. If material things make you happy, then yes, but if you value family, money can’t buy you a family.”

Morin added that money can buy you a home, which equates to safety, but then Mustafa explained that with money people get addicted to the feeling gained from buying new things. “People say if I buy a new car they’ll be happy, but once they get that they want the next thing, and then the next thing’.

We where then asked what makes us happy, which was a hard question for the group to answer. Morin said, “Coming out of the house today,” as she is new to Croydon and was excited to go out and meet new people. Mustafa said interacting with people makes him happy – “I love it when people express themselves. We don’t often give the opportunity for other to talk about themselves, it’s always me, me, me.”

The next question was harder than the previous: “What are your happiest moments from childhood’?” It was hard, because it was hard for us to decide when childhood ended and adulthood started. Stephen shared his and said moving over to America, and seeing his mum again and meeting his new sister for the first time.

The next question was do you compare yourself to other people’s happiness? “All the time,” Morin admitted. Helen-Faith disagreed and Mustafa said he doesn’t feel he needs to compare his happiness with someone else’s.

The conversation then turned round to goal setting and we were asked if any of us have set goals this year. The group was quite split. Helen thought you shouldn’t plan too much – “If you have a will to do something, time limits don’t matter. “When we focus on time we get disappointed.”

Mustafa said he didn’t set goals – rather he puts out tension. I said I do create goals, although not always achieved, and I start with a vision and set goal from there. Stephen said that setting goals had been instilled in him from childhood and he had set a goal for 2020 to not have to work for anyone anymore and to live abroad.

The Kickback returns on March 20th when the conversation will be all about ‘Purpose’.  We’ll be in Project B again from 6.30-8.30pm, with the conversation getting into full swing at 7pm.  There will also be some updates on YP Insight as part of the introduction of our General Meetings.  See you soon.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, liking Young People Insight on Facebook and subscribing to the Young People Insight YouTube channel.

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