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Is Happiness Really Overused and Overrated?

Coke Happiness

Is Happiness Overrated?

A couple of weeks ago I read that the new global vice-president of creative, connections and digital at Coca Cola, Rodolfo Echeverria, said “What I can say about ‘Open happiness’, and happiness as a concept, is that it’s overused," he said. "Everything is about happiness – there are so many books about happiness, there’s Pharrell’s ‘Happy’. Happiness is an over utilised word in current, contemporary culture."

Echeverria was talking about Coke’s ‘Open happiness’ campaign which had been in place since 2009 and has now been replaced by ‘Taste the feeling’. In terms of updating a marketing campaign and its tagline, it’s probably not a bad idea after 6 years and a new broom usually sweeps clean, as they say. But is happiness an overused and overrated concept in general?

Practically Positive loves happiness

If you’re a regular reader of our blogs you’ll know that happiness is something we talk about a great deal, and we’re big advocates of happiness. We don’t believe we have been banging on that drum for too long, happiness is still important and attainable, and there are lots of benefits to being happy.

We’ve talked about the keys to happiness or and the ingredients for happiness which have derived from extensive research. So happiness is no longer a mystery, the scientific research proves what leads to happiness. Until relatively recently us humans pursued happiness as if it were some mystical magical thing, only attained by a lucky few, but now you can get your hands on any number of bestsellers, blogs, webinars, and videos that will spell it out for you.

Happiness Sells

Coke’s Echeverria is right, millions of pounds are spent in the advertising industry every day in order create ads and campaigns which exploit our longing for happiness and our understanding of what it is, because happiness sells. Happiness has, in a way, been colonised by consumer capitalism. Martin Seligman whose book, Authentic Happiness, did so much to promote the whole subject of happiness, followed up with a book called Flourish, which some claimed was a deliberate distancing from the H word.

Happiness is not an optional extra

We disagree (would you expect anything else?) Achieving happiness is complex of course, but it's simple and possible at the same time. It's actually the word happiness that is part of the problem, people assume being happy is a singular pure state, when it’s not at all. It’s all the things we mention here, it’s more complex than experiencing a burst of joy. Happy people cherish friendships, they appreciate the good things in their life and help others, they exercise, they look forward to good things in the future, but also live in the present, and above all they are tenacious and optimistic, preferring to see their glasses half full.

Your goal should be to wake up each morning with a smile on your face because you truly are looking forward to what the day might bring. You are optimistic, and mindful of the good things that surround you. You know you can cope. You believe in yourself, and think often about your talents, and achievements. You feel lucky and glad to be who you are. You are kind and generous to others. You work hard to appreciate the virtues and talents of the people in your life. If that that sounds like you – congratulations! If not, it's time to put your best foot forward...

Have a read back through some of our blogs on happiness and discover that it is achievable and how you can find it:

The 5 Habits of Happy People

Every Day Should be a Day of Happiness

5 Simple ways to Build a Gratitude Habit

Well being


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