Weapons of Moose Destruction


Are you entitled to happiness?

Jan 16, 2023
Life Sumo Financial Happiness

I have been really vocal in the last few months about the importance of self-responsibility when it comes to fighting your way to a better place. There is no doubt that life is challenging and there is often an innate desire to put our hands up and surrender in the face of adversity - I know... I often feel it too and I've been feeling the dark a lot in recent months.

We see interest rates rising, cost of living increasing... we feel the pressures to maintain what feels like a basic standard of living - so what I'm about to say is going to be grossly unpopular but then... what's new right?

The lens with which we see the world matters. Context matters. History matters. 

In a world where the basic standard of living is higher than it has ever been, are we worse off than our grandparents? Is life now harder than it was for our great grandparents? At a time when our nation's social safety net supports more people than ever in history and the poorest in our country have access to schools, hospitals, running water, medicine, electricity, employment opportunities - are we actually entitled to feel hard done by?

This doesn't mean that things are great or perfect... not by a long stretch. It doesn't mean that we should be 'happy' with the way things are, but perspective is important. The last 40 years have groomed generations of entitlement and we're all victims to it.

Current interest rates are rising. Yes - but still under long-term historical averages and a necessary and intrinsic part of managing our economy.

A recession is on the cards... Yes - but recessions are also natural and necessary consequences of maintaining the economy and we've artificially avoided one for more than 30 years, it has to come some time.

Families can't generally get by on 1 income like they could in the 50's and 60's... is this true if we lived exactly the way we did in the 50's and 60's?

I'm not nostalgic - not in any sense. There is much about the past that I find reprehensible by comparison to the modern lens. I'd much rather have the standard of living that I'm accustomed to today than generations before - but for that we have to accept the reality of perspective. Economic forces occur in an eco-system. That eco-system is affected by market forces. I know that it is sexy and nouvea to believe that we are all puppets being played by the system and that some malevolent force has it in for us and has conspired to make our lives difficult - but life has always been difficult. This idea that we are entitled to a happy, pain free run has never been valid at any time in our history and won't be valid at any time in our future.

Prolonged happiness is manic. Prolonged sadness is depression. We will forever be in ebbs and flows between the two, and the marker of a life lived is to work for balance between the two and to realised that we aren't owed anything but that which we work for and to take responsibility for our families and ourselves and live this life with purpose.

In short - you're entitled to feel what you feel... but try and put these feelings in perspective and recognise that happiness and pain are both emotive markers for course correction. We're no more entitled to one or the other indefinitely - but guaranteed to work between both.

Here's to a 2023 of personal responsibility and perspective.


Don't miss our monthly take on the world - as we navigate the financial, psychological and  personality based blocks to your success.

You're safe with us. Life Sumo will never spam you or sell your contact info.