There are two type of people, the one who want to define happiness and then there are the ones who measure it.
A. The ones who define happiness do it this way : I have a Volvo X60, my dream car and that makes me happy
B. The ones who measure relative happiness : I have a Volvo X60, most of my colleagues don’t own this car and that very fact makes me very happy
Type A seek absolute happiness, they don’t measure it. A safe and big car like Volvo X60 makes them happy
Type B always measure happiness, their level of happiness will always depend on the average happiness of others around them
Type A seek internal validation and type B seek external validation. Who is better A or B?
Who is better? All the happiness gurus would tell us to be like A and there are very few people like A. But majority of us are like B because it is easy to measure anything relatively. For instance how full I am after eating the breakfast? I am fuller than yesterday! so I am good!
But in case of happiness we try to measure intangible (happiness) with the tangible, Volvo X60 in this case. Anyway, the point us we seek relative happiness because we don’t have a good indicator to validate that we are really happy. And the beauty is the fact that the whole economy is designed around it. It lets you compare happiness through social media and ads and what not. Strange is it not?