Are We Happy?

By | January 15, 2023

[January 15, 2023]  The short answer is, no, we are not happy.  However, I’m not so sure being happy is the correct marker for a good life.  We have a complex society, and we are not sure how our future will develop or if what we knew in the past will be sufficient for us to move forward properly into the future.  The good news is that there are many opportunities to be fulfilled, but there is also some risk.

If you look around, you might think the happiest people are those where their standard of living is the highest.  That is not the case.  Of course, this raises the question, “Why is that not the case?”

It’s not easy to keep up in our world, but some do better than others, and it seems like that might have something to do with a standard of living, income, property ownership, physical security, safety, and good health.  And so, what is the price we pay for a high standard of living?  A higher standard of living always comes with the sacrifice of the present for the future.

A high standard of living is predicated on working hard, usually long hours.  You can be reasonably influential, have money and stability, but that could crash at a moment’s notice.  You had better keep your eye on it every day and ensure everything works like it is designed to work.  Don’t take your eye off the ball, so to speak.  These are all good things, but it’s certainly not necessarily happiness or freedom from anxiety.

Most people in the modern world have way too much to do; two career families and kids.  That can be too much.

In addition, our society is experiencing political polarization.  And people are also wondering whether their lives have any meaning in such a chaotic world.

Life is hard, and if you have a nihilistic viewpoint, then it’s easy to be overcome by doubts and angst, and that drives unhappiness.  That is a mistake because your life can be very meaningful, which is proportional to the responsibility that you take on.

We are not happy.  But having a meaningful life is the right indicator that we are living a good life.


Please read my books:

  1. “55 Rules for a Good Life,” on Amazon (link here).
  2. “Our Longest Year in Iraq,” on Amazon (link here).
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

28 thoughts on “Are We Happy?

  1. mainer

    Are we happy? No. Gen. Satterfield hits the heart of the matter right away.

    1. Harry Donner

      What I like most about this article by Gen. Satterfield, is that he jumps on the idea that happiness is the core to a good life. We know from his book “55 rules for a good life” that happiness is not it. By adopting responsibility and telling what you know to be true is what creates meaning in life. Otherwise, we’d all be on the beach drinking martinis when we retire.

  2. Liz at Home

    Of course, we are not happy. Women are especially not happy because we are told the lie that the most important thing in our lives is a career. That is a real, high level lie to all women.

  3. Mr. Savage

    Once again, Gen. Satterfield has nailed it. Are we happy? Actually that is the wrong question. Better to ask, “Are we satisfied with our lives?”

    1. Greek Senator

      Excellent point Mr. S. Gen. Satterfield is telling us that happiness is not the pinnacle of achievement for our lives but that adopting responsibility and living the life for others is what matters most, not some personal journey to love ourselves.

      1. Greek Senator

        Hi old warrior, great to see you on Gen. Satterfield’s leadership site, once again. Let’s go out and kick some evil butt someday together. Nothing like sticking it to evil and in particular as evil is allowed today to foster and grow and take over. For example, evil is in our schools and colleges. We need to stop it with great arguments against the evil of communism and socialism.

  4. JT Patterson

    What I like esp. about Gen. Satterfield is that he talks about common ideas and turns them around and gives a reasonable explanation of them. Makes us use our brains, atypical for a web blogger.

  5. Raw Hide

    Conservatives are happier than liberals, but why? Political ideology, personality, and life satisfaction
    ► We examined personality correlates of political ideology and life satisfaction. ► Replicating past research, political conservatives were happier than liberals. ► Conservatives scored higher than liberals on indicators of positive adjustment. ► Positive adjustment differences accounted for the ideological happiness gap. ► These findings challenge accepted psychological profiles of conservatives.

    1. Library Girl

      Raw Hide, and while this may be true (or not), Gen. Satterfield’s point is most outstanding in that he believes that ‘happiness’ is not a marker for a good life. Just like having kids makes you not as happy as childless couples, having a ‘good life’ is much better than the fleeting emotion of happiness.

      1. Ron C.

        Good point Library Girl and as it should be. Happiness is NOT the measure of a proper life. And Gen. Satterfield is making that abundantly clear. 👌

  6. Dale Paul Fox

    I believe that believe marriage is essential in creating and maintaining strong families. That is why I’m happier than my whacko liberal friends. ha ha ha ….. they mope around always looking for some media-encouraged mission to help the starving, undeserving masses.

    1. Scotty Bush

      Yes, Emma and you and I think similarly. Great day to be alive and reading this wonderful blog. Oh, now back to my cup of coffee and pet my German Shepard, Jollie, who loves to sit at my feet.

    2. Gil Johnson

      We are all fans of Gen. Doug Satterfield and who wouldn’t be? ✔

  7. Ice Man

    “We are not happy. But having a meaningful life is the right indicator that we are living a good life.” quote of General Doug Satterfield. On the other hand, I believe I’m the one who is happy because I’m not a Marxist like so many of our young folks today.

    1. corralesdon

      Conservatives have happier families, find more meaning in life, are generally happier overall, and donate far more money and time to the needy than their liberal peers. And like we didn’t know that already.

      1. Jerome Smith

        — exactly why I keep coming back to this great leadership website by Gen. Satterfield. If you really want to get an idea on HOW to live a happier life, then read “55 Rules for a Good Life” by our fabulous leader Gen. S. He gets it and gets on will some wonderful observations about human behavior, what motivates us, and what makes us “happy.” Thank you Gen. Satterfield for your help.

        1. Laughing Monkey

          ❤❤❤❤❤ I loved the book and if you don’t have a copy, get one immediately at Amazon. See Jerome’s link.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.