What is Happy?
A stupid-arse question, or deep philosophical point? Ironically (sagaciously?) the answer determines the value of the question.
Go to Walt Disney World. The happiest place on earth. If that’s your answer, then it’s stupid-arse question. But thanks for playing. 🙂
Live a good life, try to do good things, and treat people the way you want to be treated. Warm and snuggly, yes. Maybe even noble. But it still makes the question boneheaded.
You see, the answer to “What is Happy?” has to be focused inside you – not on anything outside. For you to be happy, it has to come from inside. Dr. Maxwell Maltz said “Happiness is having your thoughts be pleasant a good share of the time.”
Notice how that’s focused inward instead of outward.
That’s how the dirt poor family down the street with eight kids can be happy. And why the rich internet tycoon is snorting cocaine and rutting on everything that moves to find happiness. On the other hand, to step outside the stereotyped…Looking outside yourself for Happy is why that Average Joe across the street is always complaining about he could have done great things if only he had caught a lucky break.
Can you be happy alone with yourself? Some people can’t, you know. It’s an important part of your character to develop. If you can’t be happy alone, then you don’t know what happy is.
Someone said to me recently that I seem much happier now. They don’t believe I was happy when I was homeless and without a regular paycheque. Their proof is only that I seem more relaxed now than I did before.
So because I’m happier now, I could not possibly have been happy before, right? See how it makes the opening into a stupid-arse question?
Homeless and struggling, yes. Unsure of what the future holds, yes. Also confident of God’s leading and trusting to His provision – even it means relying on Him for every ounce of my daily bread. I was happy.
Now I have a weekly paycheque and a place to live. You can see how that frees up a lot of mental and emotional energy. So of course I look happier – I am happier. And as I move forward with re-building business and increasing the sources of passive income I’ll sure get even more happy. Less to worry about means my thoughts are pleasant more of the time, right?
Of course, none of this answers the title, does it? Is there more than one way to get to Happy?
Answer: it’s like driving a nail. There are lots of ways to get it done. Some easier than others, some much more effective than others.
You can use an air nailer. Fast, easy, expensive and noisy, but it certainly works. You could use the heel of a shoe. Possibly more expensive depending on how much your shoes cost. Just about as noisy, and much harder and slower. How about a hammer – that’s the typical way to drive a nail.
Not much noise. Fairly fast. Takes a small amount of skill, and you can probably borrow a hammer from a neighbour if you have to. Otherwise, hammers are fairly cheap. Good way to drive a nail.
The hammer that gets you to Happy is accurate thought.
Think accurately about who you are, and the things you’ve done. Face it – the more nasty crap you’ve done, the harder it is to get to Happy. And while mistakes are often hardest to forgive in ourselves, you’re doing well to give yourself a break when you’ve made an honest effort to correct the mistake.
None of us are likely to be as bad as we imagine, or as good as our mothers hope.
Just knowing who you are – the good and the bad – moves you a big step toward happy. Coincidentally, the courage and integrity needed to think accurately about yourself automatically point you toward the routes that increase your happiness. Pretty cool, yes?
If you’re thinking you want more an answer, good. So get off your lazy arse and start building one for yourself. 🙂