What Do You Mean Happy?
What's going on with happiness?
I mean, if being happy were only about letting the good times roll we’d definitely be having too much fun. That would be good. Only, it turns out bad.
Having shot the bolt on our visa card, earned a thumping head from one (okay, seven) too many, or simply experiencing the shock of our horrible too-early alarm clock declaring a nasty end to a precious weekend… happiness runs out. There’s got to be more happiness than that.
Well obviously there is and most people know that. You've got to live well. That's the basics for finding more happiness in your life. At least, the kind that lasts past the weekend.
Of course, ‘living well’ has different meanings. For members of a cult it might mean obeying the faith in their Great and Glorious Leader. Wrapped up in a big orange parachute and sporting a shiny baldhead, for them he the only one who can truly mete out the magic.
For some it might mean routinely pulling out an extensive shopping list and calling upon God, the Universe, or their rich Uncle Cecil to deliver whatever it is they’ve just got to get. Like, “Dear God, I really need that job… and that jet ski… that perfect score for my test results… oh and first prize win in the lottery”. This jam-packed prayer request of blessings is essentially based on the theme that “If I only had what I really want then finally I could be happy”.
There are of course those that declare that happiness is an attitude. Work it hard and like a muscle you will build up the equivalent of a six-pack of happiness abs. That way, you will overcome the hard knocks of life and overcome everything… if you only make it that way.
There’s a grain or two on truth in it all of course. But surviving on a grain or two isn't particularly filling. Happiness is definitely worth being greedy about. Especially when you spread it round.
Of course, if we just bought the right rouge, a finer wine, or got more opportunities to dine at trendier restaurants we’d be fine. Though we know it’s mostly a hoax it’s hard not to get conned into thinking we really do need a Learjet for Christmas.
I'm told happiness – the kind that comes from applying yourself and living kindly and wisely - is the most satisfying thing. And it comes with the most incredible shelf life. That sounds affordable.
But what about you? Are you happy with how life is working out? Or, are there things you’d want to improve?
The experts reckon we can all do better. Stronger, faster, harder and all that. But, if we forget to include our own satisfaction, I reckon happiness will just be a beautiful (if annoying) butterfly. Incredibly amazing. But always out of reach.