The best way to be happy – a victory based theory

Everyone wants to be happy I think. Even if they keep that a secret they still want it.

People chase happiness like it was a greased-up piglet that’s just eaten a precious jewel.

For me though, I know that I feel happiest when I win stuff. You can’t beat that feeling. But this competitive spirit can be a problem as well. It has to be managed.

And we’re all the same, whether it’s getting the best grade, the nicest house or having the most handsome child – our mood can swing based directly on our victory levels.

So for all of the success-addicts out there – let me explain the 3 things you need to know in order to achieve victory-based happiness.

1. Life is winnable.

So you’re doing your weekly shop but you know that if you don’t get it done in an hour – well you won’t make it home in time to watch Antiques Roadshow (which everyone loves, right?). BANG! Suddenly you’re in an exciting competition. You run around getting lunch and breakfast for the week followed by ingredients for 5 evening meals and in 45 minutes you’ve become a winner at life.

The truth is we set ourselves goals and objectives everyday so there’s always a new opportunity to get some victory.

2. There are 2 types of winning

I’m going to call them Social Victory and Absolute Victory. I can pick names for stuff because this blog is half mine and that gives me certain powers…

Absolute Victory is maybe what you are most familiar with. It involves winners and losers. Like in a running race the winner achieves maximum Absolute Victory, the loser gets none and everyone else is somewhere in between. If you’re fighting against yourself, time, or even an inanimate object the winning is still absolute because there’s always a loser of sorts.

Social Victory is different. It’s not something I’ve heard anyone else talk about in this way but equally it’s not a new concept at all.

Jenny walks into the room and I say

– Hi Jenny

– Hi Jon

– Great hair today

– Thanks, Jon. I do feel like I have great hair.

That’s Social Victory, everybody.

Because both me and Jenny left that conversation feeling top dollar. She received a non-awkward compliment and I received validation that my compliment was well-placed.

Social Victory let’s everybody win when it’s done right and that’s what distinguishes it from the absolute type. If Jenny and me had an arm wrestle there would be only one winner (Jenny). But thanks to my excellent social skills, we’re both feeling good.

3. You need a 40-60 win rate to be happy

What I mean by that is you need to win 40% of your Absolute Victory challenges and 60% of your social ones. Those are the magic numbers.

You might be thinking 40% isn’t enough for me – it’s not a winning total. But if that’s you, I’d encourage you to think again. Because 4 out of 10 victories is still pretty good. I think you probably just need to get better at celebrating them.

Maybe work on a cool dance or a handshake you can do with you buddies. That sort of thing makes the victory sweeter…

On the other hand, you might need to change your routine a bit before you hit that 40% Absolute Victory level. But you’ll definitely have no trouble making friends with a 60% social score.

If you’re ever feeling sad, think back and see if your stats for the day look ok. And if they don’t – then search after some victory.

You might think this theory is a bit stupid and really it is.

But what’s more stupid is that we’re all running around trying to best each other at everything. We think we need to win 90% of our battles to even be considered a slightly capable human being.

But I think there’s more than enough victory around for us all.

I’ll happily lose 6 out of 10 games just so I can savour those 4 victories. Especially if you throw in some win-win social victories as well.

I think life is more about the quality of the victory than the number achieved. Maybe we should all aim a bit higher, lose a bit more and bust out the best victory dance when things do go our way.

If you’re still reading at this point and feeling worried about my mental health – let me assure you that I will not be writing a book about this theory or becoming any sort of Guru. I only believe in about half the points I made I think…

And,as always, you draw the conclusions – so don’t blame me if you now go and do something weird!

As a way of ending – here is a picture of someone celebrating with a lunging thrust jump. It’s an advanced move but if you pull it off you only need a 30% win rate to be happy…


You didn’t think I’d throw in a blog without any pictures did you? That would be such a Steve move…