Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Happiness: why not here and now?
Who is happy?
let me ask you the question again...
Who is really, genuinely happy??? Deep down happy??? A feeling that stays no matter what happens... You can be happy even when suffering.... grieving... You can be happy anywhere anytime! It's not a feeling as a result of doing, achieving or buying something. Happiness is there or is not. You can choose to be happy. You can learn to be happy.
What triggered today's post was a sentence I read on Becoming Minimalist.
"People wait all week for Friday, all year for summer, all life for happiness"
And reading this made me really sad. I use to be that person that would wait for the week ends.... of the next long week end... or Holidays... vacations... retirement...
I used to be that person who would think that once I have a house, once I have a kid, once I take a yearly vacation, once I get to that income... then I would be happy!!!
And it never came. Well, don't get me wrong... I am happy now.... but not because I got the house, the kid, the yearly vacation and expected income! It never came from where I expected it to came.
1) Why do we wait for Friday???
Perhaps because we are unsatisfied with our jobs... well why not do something about it? I am not telling you to give your resignation letter tomorrow! After all we all need to pay shelter and food at a minimum!
However, you can make a plan to eventually leave that job that no longer (or maybe never did) keep you satisfied... Either start looking for something else, get the education you need (on a part time basis), simplify your lifestyle so that it cost you less and it allows you to ditch the high paying job and choose something you like... These are some options but there might be more.... think about it!
You can also learn to love the job you are doing if you cannot see anyway out of it... There must be something you like about it... either the people, salary, working conditions... of the work in itself. Just concentrate on what you like about it and forget the rest. It doesn't matter.
If it's a question of not be gratified enough or feeling useless in your job, find gratification or purpose in something else then your job and take your job as a mean to an end (you need the money).
Now I am not saying that you should stay in a job you hate forever because it pays well. I really do not agree with that. However I understand that everyone situation is different and not everyone can leave everything on the spot and do what they love. It may take months or years.... but when you do have an objective, your daily job becomes less of a problem - because you can see the end of it eventually.
Happiness will not come from doing a specific jobs... but when you do something you like, you change your references and a feeling of happiness is easier to cultivate because you are no longer concentrating on something you do not like. Happiness is a state of mind.
2) Why do we wait for summer?
What does summer has to offer more than other seasons? Of course days may seem longer, weather nicer, you may be more energized, think there is more to do.... and it might involve some time off.
But all this really is an illusion....
Days also have 24hours: there might me more sun but the number of hours between the end of your day and bedtime is actually the same... you just make more of it because of the sun/warmer weather.
Weather is warmer, not nicer. You can actually enjoy the weather year round. You only need to get dress accordingly... There are plenty to do in each seasons. Why wait for a specific one? Concentrate on the advantages of each season instead of the advantages of summer and inconvenient of the other seasons.
You are more energized because you look forward to it... because you do not want to waste a minute of it. What if you had the same attitude towards the other seasons? Maybe you'd be energize too. Perhaps it also has to do with your diet... Most people actually eat better during summer because they increase their intake of fruits and veggies: pure energy! Why not increase that all your round and see what happens?
You think there is more to do... the pool, the beach, bike rides... but every season has their things to do... it you want to make the most out of summer by spending most of it outside, why not do the same in winter. You can skate, ski, snowshoe... And during in between seasons do indoor stuff.. you can still go to the pool (inside), museum, movies... there is just as much to do! It's just different stuff!
As for time off... I am pretty sure it is well deserved... but does it have to be all during summer? Why not spread it out to some other seasons also? And if all you are really caring about is time off from work, perhaps you should read 1) all over again more carefully.
3) Why do we wait all life?
Because we are looking for/expecting happiness to come from the outside. Because we were told that happiness arrives when _____. All this is not right.... happiness comes form the inside. It is something we need to cultivate.... a house, a luxury car, a kid, a vacation cannot cultivate our happiness.
Of course kids will bring us joy... being in love too! Friends/family can be the source of "happy moment" but not of real happiness. No one can water your internal garden. It's your job to do.
Material possession really is not happiness. It's a disguise.... you can hide or forget you're unhappy in a fancy house.... or luxury car... we were told so many times about that story that we ended up believing it. We no longer realise that these do not make us happy. However, times and times again, studies have shown, all over the world, that there is a direct relationship between money and happiness only to the point where your basic needs are fulfilled (real basic needs - not by the American standards). After that? not at all..... and beyond a certain point (certain level of income), it could actually be reversely proportional. Of course when you look at wealthy people they seem happy... it's a picture, a movie, a TV show... but do not judge someone's happiness before you walked a mile in their shoes!
Therefore we wait all life expecting happiness to be around the corner. When in the end it is there all along. Every moment of every hour of every day you CAN be happy. It really is just up to you. It's a question of perception. A question of seeing the glass half full. It's a question of acknowledging small nice/beautiful things. Those bring long lasting happiness because y
they serve a "water" for your internal garden.
All happiness really does come down to is: put on your pink glasses, smile, and believe everything will be all right! Because in the end, it always is anyway!
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