Happiness is a goal of mine. It’s something I work toward on a minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-by-day, week-by-week (you get it) basis. Elizabeth Gilbert made some heart-awakening statement about the manifestations of happiness in one’s life when she wrote Eat, Pray, Love. I can be pretentious to a fault…but not enough to admit that I didn’t go all self-help-introspective when I read her novel. The quote is as follows:
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.”
Sometimes manifesting happiness requires major action (like the ejection of an individual from your bubble, change of location, or switching careers (or my favorite…all of the above…all at once)). Sometimes it requires a different (more scenic, less traffic-bound) route to work. A lot of times it simply requires a cup of coffee and some form of edible Heaven (i.e. chocolate).
The people who I sincerely do not understand are those that make conscious decisions on a daily basis that land them in the realm of all that is shitty and grey.
If you had to choose, would you choose happiness, or complication?
Because you are choosing. On a daily basis.
I started taking full accountability and ownership of my happiness a long time ago. I wanted very badly to believe that if I cared more about other people’s happiness than my own levels of happiness…that my happiness levels would somehow maintain themselves. Even better, I believed there would be reciprocation on the part of those receiving all of my extra effort (false).
The truth is that there is no one in this world that will ever be more concerned about your own happiness than yourself. No one in this world can want or pursue happiness for you.
There are a number of individuals in this world that want very badly to believe that people are innately good and would never do something intentionally harmful to another person (they’re what we call naive). People are innately selfish. They will choose their own happiness over yours every.single.time. That’s not a bitter, negative, or otherwise dismal POV. It’s a realistic one. It would be parallel to my saying that we are all innately human.
Granted, there will be those people who sacrifice their own happiness for you. Like when they offer the last cookie or the better pillow. But let’s be honest. They aren’t doing it because they genuinely want to go without…they’re doing it because they know you’re paying attention (which will then lead to an increase in their likelihood of getting laid (…I’m so jaded)).
The day I realized this to be true was akin to the day someone informed me that dandelions are actually weeds. And that Santa is fake. Or anything else that made the daily celebration of life a bit dimmer.
It sucked. But it just gives you a reason to figure out what you want and where to get it.
And then…then you can look at your life on a daily basis and be proud of what you created. And then you can share it. With other happy people. But you’ve got to want it.
Why would you not want it?
Fight for it…strive for it…insist upon it.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
Happy is easy.