by Dion Damen
Entering week two into the course, ‘A Life of Happiness and fulfilment,’ I was very curious about what Dr Raj. would talk about this week. The starting week was already a big eye-opener for me because, I was confronted with the fact that I, among many other people, devaluated happiness for the sake of something else. With that somewhat confronting discovery in the back of my head I started week two of the course and came to find out about the second deadly happiness sin.
Dr Raj. called the second sin ‘chasing superiority’. This second sin is a lot more straightforward to me than the first one, which made it very easy to understand. People seek for superiority because people want other people’s approval. People have always dreamed about being the best at something and to be admired by others. Look at athletes who are admired by so many people. Everybody would wish to be as skilled and as famous as them, right?
Why it doesn't work
What surprises me about the sin ‘chasing superiority’, is that many people think they need to actually achieve superiority in order to become happy. However, the opposite is often true. Since the act of chasing superiority often goes hand in hand with a few side-effects that actually lowers people’s happiness.
There are 3 reasons why chasing superiority lowers people’s happiness.
- People who seek superiority constantly compare themselves to other people’s looks, money, success etc. This constant comparison and observation about others is actually very pernicious as it separates the you from other people.
- People that seek superiority are often very materialistic. This is because out of everything you can compare between people, materialistic comparison is the easiest to compare. Materialism eventually will also lead to separation from others.
- The third reason why chasing superiority lowers your happiness is because people do not like people who strive for superiority. This as well results in isolation.
What I find very fascinating about chasing superiority, is that people often do it for the fame and the feeling of being admired by others. You would think that people who reached superiority would be surrounded by people and friends. However, the opposite is true. Chasing superiority makes people very lonely and separates them from others.
I guess that is where the expression ‘it’s lonely at the top’ comes from.