Seeing others succeed can fill us with happiness
Depending on what type of person you are, seeing others succeed can bring with it just as much joy and happiness as if you were the person it happened to. I think this is a big part of why certain sports can take over the nation.
When thinking about sports when I was younger, I always dreamt of what it would be like for two things to happen – Andy Murray winning Wimbledon, and England winning the World Cup. One of them has happened, twice, and the country found themselves within touching distance of another. Both of these created huge television viewing figures, and united the country, even just for a short time. But why was that?
It could be that both have not happened in a very long time – we had to wait over 70 years for a British man to win another Wimbledon singles title, and we’re still waiting over 50 years for England to win another World Cup. But when people become invested in these things happening, when they do, or expectations are at least exceeded, it creates a huge sense of pride, delight, and a new found happiness.
With the England (men’s) football team, it was a case of, in my opinion, expectations being well and truly walked over. A semi-final in a World Cup was beyond probably everyone’s expectations, but it made the country, largely, happy. England also had a manager that people believed in again, with a hashtag on twitter and a day named in honour of his fondness for waistcoats. The scenes where goals were scored saw thousands of people scream in elation that the dream could possibly come true.
Seeing other people succeed in our own lives can also bring with that happiness; a family member or a friend, a work colleague, or even a friend of a friend you don’t know very well – hearing about and seeing people succeeding in their goals can only be a good thing, surely? And even if it isn’t, in the long run it can hopefully allow us to all believe in ourselves, and that hard work pays off in the long run.
Sarah Keeping MBPsS MSc PgDip GDip BA (Hons) Follow Sarah on twitter at @keepingapproach