Here’s a distinction I’ve found to be useful:
There’s a difference between being happy ABOUT something and being happy IN SPITE of something.
Being happy ABOUT something means you feel good when you focus your attention on it. It’s the way you feel about your favorite sport, your best friend, an upcoming vacation, a delicious meal, or a nice run of good luck.
Being happy IN SPITE of something means you make the choice to not allow that particular thing to ruin your day IN SPITE of the fact that you dislike it.
You don’t have to make yourself feel happy ABOUT the things you hate in order to live happily IN SPITE of the things you hate.
There will always be something to be unhappy about
No matter how much you accumulate or achieve, there will always be things going on in the world that displease you. If you win the lottery today, there will still be people somewhere who are starving to death. Does it make you happy to think ABOUT that? I doubt it! If you’re fortunate enough to work at your dream job in 5 years, there will still be people somewhere who are overworked and underpaid. Does it make you happy to think ABOUT that? I doubt it! Even if you’re in perfect health, someone somewhere is dying painfully of an incurable disease. Does it make you happy to think ABOUT that? I doubt it!
If happiness requires the elimination of that which is unwanted from our world, then our pursuit is hopeless. If any measure of happiness is attainable in this life, then we must learn how to be happy IN SPITE of the things that displease us.
I’m an unhappy optimist
For the most part, I’m happy all the time. But I’m not happy about everything. If I use common standards, then I would say there are at least a hundred things going on in my personal life right now that I have a legitimate reason to be unhappy ABOUT. Yet, I am not unhappy.
Sheer determination and will power? No!
If I possessed those traits, my abs would be in a far more advanced state.
There are a few things I’ve come to understand about being happy. In Tomorrow’s post, I’ll share some of them. It wont be an exhaustive list, but I hope you’ll find it useful.
I hope you’ll join me. In the meantime, create a great day.