We’ve spoken of the power of perception, and how the simple appearance of something can shape our entire receptiveness of its character. Like ‘judging a book by its cover’ and without having read it, claiming to know it’s message is worthless. I have been thinking about how much that is relevant to my present struggles, but largely this thought leads me to an appreciation. Before I can dive into it, I feel I need to explain something. This is a lengthy post, but I promise it will be worth it and I need your help.
I believe that people are good. Sometimes lost, self-involved, confused, but regularly and mostly; good. I don’t think most of us want to bring pain or do ill unto others and I think that while most of us speak boldly like a ‘if I was there I would have…’ I believe we want things to go smoothly and really don’t want to fight everything. We don’t want to hate everyone that we avoid and we don’t want to neglect the text message that we didn’t reply to from the person who is never a priority . Maybe sometimes we just feel a bit disconnected; not from the person, or the people, but from the world and maybe with that; we blame it on other things. Deflecting the problem, with a symptom, onto what very well could’ve been a solution.
The manager that comes in yelling at her staff, demeaning their efforts and belittling their accomplishments. Not because that’s who she is or even how she manages, but because her home life is overwhelming and this is how she can vent when shes miserable. Or the father that comes home, throws himself on the couch and checks out from the family with some series binge-watching. Not because he doesn’t care for them, but because his career is so soul-sucking that he lacks the mental fortitude to imagine how he would show it.
I think that we can hit these points throughout our lives when we are scraping the bottom of the barrel that is our joy for the timeless question of ‘why am I doing this to myself?’ Now, I feel if we are lucky, we can create the answer before it consumes us. For starters, if you are unhappy, maybe actually ask yourself ‘why’. I can tell you right now what it isn’t, and this is important. You are not unhappy because you don’t have the car you want, the laptop you want or the newest phone. I wish it was the source of anyone’s unhappiness because if happiness could be bought, I think it would be easier (credit is easy to come by).
No, think of true happiness and joy as what they are; positives. It is a bucket that even at it’s absolute lowest level, can only be empty. You can only add things to it. Well, I’m going to ask you what is already in your bucket? What is in your bucket-o-happiness that you maybe have had for so long that it’s just a background of something you don’t really appreciate anymore?
Take that manager who yells at her staff. Is she overwhelmed because she owns an apartment building on the upper east side of NY that needed some plumbing work while her vacation house in Aruba is being renovated? Sure those can be stressful, but imagine if you focus on the fact that you have a sustainable income (peace of mind), the finances to fix the plumbing issue, and the excitement of expanding your Aruba home. I mean, did you not think as you read that ‘omg I’d be happy with just the house in Aruba’. Well if you think like some people do, no; even that wouldn’t make you happy.
I’m not saying material things don’t bring you happiness, but they do so indirectly. Having a smartphone (a true luxury to have the worlds answers in your pocket(see below)) doesn’t bring you joy, but what you can do with it does. You can watch ridiculous videos that make you laugh, play your favorite music, connect to see what your friends are eating because they post up all their meal photos, and still; make calls.
Now let’s go further, it’s no making calls or seeing food, it’s WHO your talking to, whose life your following and tweeting about, who is interested and cares about the weird emotional nonsense that you put up sometimes (we’re all guilty of it, I have a blog, I know). It’s not the phone, it’s what you do with it. And then it’s not about what you do with it, but WHO you do it with/for. Maybe this is just the perception (full circle!) of life and happiness from the point of a hopeless romantic who has an infinite social meter (#thesims), but hey; it has brought me the greatest successes of my life and even if they are but passing clouds, I have been able to experience them and that is everything.
And many more.
So if that laptop is holding back your happiness, what would you do with it that you can’t do now? If the newer phone is taunting you and taking your happiness, what feature does the one have that would better your life? Maybe it’s something and then I hope you get the thing you want and I hope it actually makes you happy. But I do think if we look at things that way, we may appreciate our present life rather than always wanting for more/different.
Happiness is contagious. We can share it, it doesn’t belong to any single person.
So I’d like to ask you to share with me, what makes you happy. What do you have in your life that brings you true joy? How did you find it? And what can you do to appreciate it right now?
Thank you for checking in and sharing your happiness with me.