It's All Relative But Shouldn't Be Share:
- Steve Williamson, Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
- Monday, January 11, 2021
Tags: #happiness #ikigai #psychology
We've written about the danger of keeping up with the Jones's. Researchers have studied why our happiness can be lower when we compare ourselves to others who we perceive as being better off than we are.
According to this article, How Hope Can Make You Happier With Your Lot, researchers studied 'relative deprivation' — "...that feeling of being unhappy with your lot, the belief that your situation is worse than others, that other people are doing better than you."
Researches learned the feeling that you don't measure up can make you be more likely to engage in risky behavior, such as gambling or excessive consumption of alcohol.
Conversely, those with less relative deprivation, those with more hope for their immediate future, are less likely to engage in risky behavior.
What does this have to do with the Jones's?
Have you ever met someone who was really good at what they do?
One of the best ways to tell if someone is likely to be good at what they do is by their happiness when talking about it. They feel a deep and genuine joy in their work and have a strong sense of satisfaction. Their enthusiasm manifests as an eagerness to start the day on both feet, energetically engaging in their work.
Happiness isn't necessarily a consistent predictor of professional excellence, but being happy in your work makes excellence a lot easier to achieve.
Those who have found that blend of passion, mission, vocation and profession achieve a state of what the Japanese call ikigai, or 'reason for being.'
If you compare yourself to someone experiencing that state of ikigai in what they do, it's easy to feel a sense of relative deprivation.
"Why am I not as happy as Richard in Systems Analysis? He really loves his job."
We feel this disconnect between us and them because we are making comparisons as if we were all the same. We make the mistake of assuming it's all relative when it shouldn't be.
We are not all apples, and we are not all oranges. Some of us aren't even fruit at all.
We all have a unique combination of emotional hardwiring, intellectual talents, and experience. The secret to comparative happiness is to realize you are unique and should not worry about being better than others, but should only be better today than you were yesterday.
Your Psychometric Uniqueness
One of the most useful and powerful tools at your disposal for finding that state of ikigai — your reason for being — is the Core Values Index psychometric assessment.
The CVI identifies your specific ratio of four emotional types, or core value energies: power, love, wisdom, and knowledge. These ratios determine the kind of activities and pursuits where you will be happiest, where you will shine, and where you will feel the most fulfilled.
Consider this: Would a highly creative and free-thinking person be happy working in a job where they have to gather and analyze large volumes of monochromatic data day in and day out?
If that creative person took the CVI and learned their true nature, they could identify why their job in data analysis makes them feel like a fish out of water. It would also help explain why their co-worker, Richard, who has a completely different psychometric profile, seems to be so happy doing the same thing.
Our creative free-thinker doesn't need to be more like Richard. They need to follow pursuits that are more aligned to their genuine self and find the role that fits the way they are emotionally hardwired. Perhaps a role in marketing or entertainment might suit them better.
"Everyone is a genius, but one does not berate the fish for its inability to climb a tree." - Albert Einstein
One of the most profound benefits of the Core Values Index is it helps you identify what you love — your passion and your mission — and why you love it. When you take that knowledge and align it with the right professional and vocational path, your negative relative deprivation will decline and you will be well on your way toward achieving a state of ikigai — your own reason for being.
It's all relative, but it shouldn't be. You are unique so measure your happiness relative to yourself, not to others.
Are you curious about the Core Values Index? It is the most accurate and reliable psychometric and personality assessment ever created, with a repeat reliability score of 97.7%. It only takes 8 minutes to complete and the comprehensive report is easy to read and understand.
Go to eRep.com/core-values-index/ to learn more about the CVI or to take the Core Values Index assessment.
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Innovator/Banker - Dir. Product Development, eRep, Inc.
Steve has a career in information technology, software development, and project management spanning three decades. He is the author of a series of fantasy novels called The Taesian Chronicles (ruckerworks.com), and when he isn't writing he enjoys cycling, motorcycle adventure touring, and buzzing around the skies in his home-built flight simulator.