At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential – both as individuals and citizens. We believe that by changing the course of young lives we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future.
Start Talking is a place where we want to raise awareness of key issues that face today’s youth. We will sometimes advocate, sometimes educate, sometimes inform, sometimes ask questions and always invite discussion about the pressing concerns that involve the younger generations of today.

Friday, March 20, 2015

It is the Very Pursuit of Happiness That Thwarts Happiness

According to this new study, you are at your happiest at 34.

The reasons for being happy at this age are listed as:

  • I met someone I fell in love with
  • I got married
  • I had children
  • I got a great new job/made a career change
  • Bought my first home
Perhaps it is just me… but I think that if some thing, person, or event is the reason you are happy, that happiness might be fleeting.

I googled “happiness” and found this quote from Viktor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor:

"It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness."

Frankl wrote in Man's Search for Meaning that those who found meaning even in the most horrendous circumstances were far more resilient to suffering than those who did not. "Everything can be taken from a man but one thing," he wrote, "the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."

There may be something to this...

A survey our organization did in June 2009 showed that people who were Big Brothers or Big Sisters lived longer and were happier than those who were not.

More specifically… half of the youth mentors polled (51%) described their lives as “very happy”, compared to 29 per cent of Canadian adults from the general population.

I don’t know if happy people volunteer or volunteering makes you happy but if you are still looking for happiness  - it is worth a shot to become a mentor!

Jennifer-Lee Thomas
Director of Marketing
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada

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