A documentary that explores what really makes people happy. The film explores different cultures around the world, highlighting some of the happiest and unhappiest cultures and digs into the reasons behind their dissatisfaction/satisfaction. The movie talks about how you can actually cultivate your own happiness and how your happiness can directly affect others around you.
The movie lists a few things that will not give you real fulfillment such as….and no big shocker here: money, success, image, material things, status, etc. And even though I 100% believe that none of those things bring lasting fulfillment, it is SO easy to accidentally get caught up in those things. An example for me personally…most of what I blog about is material, fun stuff that, when not taken too seriously, can bring joy and add some pleasure/creativity to your life. Sometimes a new outfit, lipstick, face cream, shoes, something new in your house, a haircut (the list can go on and on) is all it takes to give you an instant pick me up and taking care of yourself is good for you. But thinking about or worrying about that external stuff too much does not bring fulfillment. If I find myself focusing too much on how I look, what I should wear, the things that I have, acquiring new things, and other image related stuff, I notice a direct negative affect on my happiness, and I have to step back and give myself a little wakeup call. Too much focus on myself is simply not fulfilling. However, thinking and caring about things (people) bigger than yourself is one of the main components of happiness. I believe that life is not all about your own personal pleasure and if you spend too much time trying to achieve that, then you will have a hard time achieving true joy.
Another thing it talks about that directly negates happiness is constantly seeking the approval of others. And today, that can happen without us even realizing it’s happening. Everyday things like posting photos or a status to Facebook , Instagram, Twitter…people can choose to “like” or “favorite” what you put out there. Even that can end up being about gaining other’s approval. And social media can also lead to comparing yourself and your life to everyone else, which is a MAJOR happiness zapper! It is so important to think about the things you do have, instead of what you don’t have. Instead of comparing yourself, I have found that celebrating the success of people around you is HUGE for your own happiness. My friends and I are constantly intentionally celebrating each other’s personal victories, no matter how big or small, and the amount of joy it brings to our lives and friendships is unbelievable!
One thing I really enjoyed about the film is that it didn’t spend the whole time focusing on elements that won’t bring true joy, but spent most of it’s time exploring the non material things that actually will bring satisfaction to your life. Things like community, spending time with family and true friends, physical activity, having new experiences, generosity, finding a job you truly love, serving others, being grateful for what you have, among other things. And most of this stuff, we already know deep down, but it’s nice to have a little refresher.
I loved this documentary because it really makes you think, but also remains uplifting and is simply fun to watch. Check it out and let me know what you think! Available on Netflix!