Bobby McFerrin would not be happy. According to a new survey, 45% of people around the world have not felt happy since early 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic. The Oracle Happiness Report, which summarizes the surveys of approximately 12,000 consumers and business leaders from 14 countries, also states that about 25% of people don’t know or can’t remember what it means to feel happy.

It’s been more than two years since the start of the pandemic. Since then, according to the report:

    • 88% are looking for new adventures to make them smile and laugh
    • 80% are prioritizing their health
    • 79% are seeking personal connections
    • 53% are looking for adventures to gain happiness

“We’re falling short on happiness. We took a big hit around the world,” Gretchen Rubin, the best-selling author of The Happiness Project, and co-author of the report, told USA TODAY. “We’re starving for new experiences to help make us feel better.”

Rubin also told USA Today that people worldwide are searching for their “next normal,” which describes the ways people are hoping to move forward in their lives while still in the midst of the pandemic. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard so many people say, ‘Give me a date where I can pace myself and I can get to the finish line.’ But, when we have this constant feeling that we don’t know, that sense of uncertainty increases.”

Some have found ways to grow and thrive. Others have not. Some have found happiness. Others have not. Where do you fall? Are you happy? Have you defined your next normal? How has the pandemic helped you prioritize your career and strengthen your brand? 

If you are finding happiness amid the pandemic, how are you doing it? I continue to find happiness by staying close to my adult kids, traveling and enjoying new experiences with my life partner, and continuing to hang out with my tight circle of friends. I’ve also found happiness by discovering and learning new brand marketing tools that will benefit my MDK Brand Management clients, and launching new initiatives with my business associates. What are some of the ways you are finding happiness during the pandemic? If you are still searching to find your happy place, please reach out and let others help you. 

Denise Kaigler is the founder and principal of MDK Brand Management, a firm specializing in brand strategy, business consultancy and career coaching. Prior to launching her business in 2015, Denise held senior, executive and C-suite roles at several global brands. Denise is the author of Forty Dollars and a Brand: How to Overcome Challenges, Defy the Odds and Live Your Awesomeness, available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She is also the creator and executive producer of Brand Rewind ™, a multi-media experience that explores the actions and behaviors of personal and business brands and empowers others to learn from them. Sign up for the Brand Rewind ™ newsletter and subscribe to the Brand Rewind LIVE YouTube channel by clicking here