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Happiness is not the same as…Part III

…having fun.

Fun is a measurement of how much pleasure or excitement one derives from a certain activity.

Going on a two-week vacation to Disney-world, attending the Super Bowl, jamming out at a rock concert, socializing with close friends, having a family picnic, watching a good movie, reading an exciting book, daydreaming, and lying out at the beach are all examples of what having fun can look like.

Happiness, on the other hand, while certainly full of its fun moments, is a measurement of how engaged one is with a sense of meaning, value, and purpose.

A sense of meaning, value, and purpose, along with all the interior riches it provides, can be present even in the absence of doing fun activities.

Happy people do the dishes; Happy people take out the garbage; Happy people change dirty diapers; Happy people fold laundry; Happy people pick up dog poop; Happy people change the oil in their cars; Happy people help their friends move;  Happy people listen to their companions vent; Happy people leave parties early to attend to family emergencies; Happy people work tough jobs so other people can continue enjoying the services that make them happy, and the list goes on.

Most happy people would probably tell you that they’d have a lot more FUN visiting Magic Mountain, going on a shopping spree, riding a bike, or taking a day off than doing any of the above activities.

Does that mean happy people are unhappy when they’re not doing fun things? No.

It means that the happiness of happy people is sustained by a wide range of elements of which having fun is only a part.

Having fun is when you get to do the things that you love. Being happy is when you find the love in the things that you do.

Be happy when you get to have fun, but don’t forget to have fun just being happy.



Happiness is not the same as…

being nice.

Niceness is a measurement of how kind or pleasant others perceive you to be.

Happiness is a measurement of your internal state.

Nice people can be unhappy and happy people can appear to be unkind.

People who say “yes” to everyone, because they don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, are a common example of how being happy and being nice can come apart; such people are frequently tormented with feelings of guilt, resentment, and frustration. Yet, they are usually regarded by everyone as nice.

Conversely, some of the happiest people in the world are thought of as unkind because they set strong boundaries and demand respect from others. Since it’s impossible to say “no” without rubbing SOMEBODY the wrong way, all happy people must make choices that will cause someone to see them as unkind (even when happy people go out of their way to prevent this).

This is not to say that happiness and kindness are completely unrelated.

Some people are kind because they’re happy and some are happy because they’re kind.

Also, some people are unkind because they’re unhappy and some are unhappy because they’re unkind.

Nevertheless, the two are not identical.

So, remember to keep the distinction clear.

You’re nice when others are at peace with you. You’re happy when you’re at peace with yourself.

You can be happy even if you’re unhappy pt 3

This post is a continuation of You can be happy even if you’re unhappy pt 2. I ended with point #2 of 4. Let’s delve in at #3. Enjoy…

3) Find an empowering way to process unwanted situations by emphasizing the elements which feel best. Take action steps in that direction when you can.

I may seem like I’m contradicting myself here, but this is very different from forcing yourself to feel good about what you don’t like. Every situation is composed of wanted and unwanted elements. Feeling bad about undesirable elements doesn’t mean you can’t feel good about the desirable elements.

We often approach challenges as if it’s dishonest or naive to acknowledge and appreciate the positive aspects. Exaggerating our dramas is socially acceptable, but highlighting what we appreciate is somewhat shunned. There’s no compelling reason for that.

If you can be honest about hating your job, then you have the right to be honest about how much it helps you pay the bills. If it’s permissible to complain about how annoying your spouse can be, then it’s certainly permissible to mentally rehearse some of the ways in which they’ve influenced you for good. Taking the time to verbalize the positive aspects makes them more vivid and concrete in your thinking.

4) If you must talk about your problems, discuss them with people who won’t make things worse.

Our natural tendency is to seek for validation. A shoulder to cry on or a set of ears to vent to, can be very comforting to have when going through tough situations. But not everyone who listens to you is good for you. Some friends will tell you want they think you want to hear, but the best friends are those who tell you what you will actually benefit from hearing.

I’ve seen many people turn minor incidents into major issues simply by indiscreetly sharing their challenges with people who “help” them see how bad things “really” are.

If you just lost your job, it may not be a good idea to talk to your friend who’s bitter about being recently laid off. If you just got into an argument with your significant other, there are probably better candidates for conversation than your anti-dating friend who thinks all men/women are losers. Such people may succeed in helping you feel like you’re not so crazy after all. That’s a good thing. You need people in your life, however, who will help you get your conversation faced in the right direction.

I don’t vent or complain much in my personal life. It usually only makes me feel worse. There are times, though, where I do feel a compelling need to blow some steam or consult another perspective. During those times, I am careful to choose people who subscribe to my core philosophy of self-empowerment.I encourage you to do the same. There’s a verse in the book of Proverbs which says “he who walks among the wise, will become wise.” Max Lucado wrote “God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.” Those are the kinds of friends you want. Build a network of positive-minded people who accept you just as you are, but who love you too much to leave you that way.

This is plenty of food for thought today. Let’s pick up this topic again on Tomorrow.

Stay tuned and have an amazing day,

Cheers 🙂

T.K. Coleman

If you enjoy my posts, be sure to also check out my weekly celebrity inspiration blog, Gossip Gone Good.

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