“Happiness is a choice”.
Sadly for most, it isn’t. But for my privileged life (and likely yours), it is.
I thought that once I accomplish X, Y and Z, then and only then will I be happy.
Some of those X, Y and Zs are externalities out of your control. What is life like when happiness is completely up to chance and others?
We also know that accomplishments also lead one to take one other accomplishment. It never stops.
But is happiness as easy as a switch you can flip?
Can you choose to be happy? You probably can, but there will be some obvious caveats.
It’s easier to flip that happiness switch when you have a full belly, a roof over your head, surrounded by friends and family who support your goals, and a fulfilled purpose to wake up to.
When you don’t have those things, then it becomes significantly difficult, and circumstance controls your happiness.
I know for me and most of us we are able to tick off the above caveats. So what’s the next step in realising happiness?
You can be grateful for almost anything. I practice writing three gratitudes in the morning. By doing this, if there is anything negative event or when my mind magically conjures up dark thoughts, I can combat this with gratitude.
The next step is acceptance. And this is something I struggle with.
I’m in a good position now, but I wish it could be better.
For example, my job is something that really gets me down.
I feel I’m destined for uttering “1 or 2” until the day I die. Despite all I have in life, my work doesn’t fulfil me. My skills and interest, autonomy isn’t getting utilised.
I discovered programming, and I’m not amazing at the skill, but it is something I enjoy.
When I’m at my job, despite the security, prestige and money, every day I’m there, I’m moving further and further away from my dreams. I wish I could do more.
And as the days go by, I loathe my situation. I think I’m the victim of circumstance.
Why can’t I escape? Why can’t I be a developer earning waterfalls of money? Or a content creator with a large audience?
It might happen, but I’m not there yet, and I can rely on these feats for me to be happy.
I need to accept my situation, and then be grateful I’m in this situation, where I can improve and work towards this goal.
I publish videos. I write. I code. And the job gives me some income to support these goals.
A friend told me that all of this work isn’t to get somewhere, to find those diamonds deep in the tunnel. The point of all this work are those diamonds that you have been searching for.
In the pursuit of making myself feel better, we also need to help others. Freedom comes from not worrying about what others think, but happiness comes from serving others, and from seeing your efforts have a positive impact on the world.
Finally, we need to accept that we can’t be happy all the time. The spectrum of emotions is part of the human experience. That is something I’m slowly realising.
Have I missed anything? I hope this helps you.