By – Kayode Ipadeola
You Can’t Be Happy By Those Act
If you have to try to be cool, you will never be cool. If you have to try to be happy, then you will never be happy. Maybe the problem these days is people are just trying too hard.
Happiness, like other emotions, is not something you obtain, but rather something you inhabit. When youre raging pissed and throwing a socket wrench at the neighbors kids, you are not self-conscious about your state of anger. You are not thinking to yourself, Am I finally angry? Am I doing this right? No, youre out for blood. You inhabit and live the anger. You are the anger. And then its gone.
Just as a confident man doesnt wonder if hes confident, a happy man does not wonder if hes happy. He simply is.
What this implies is that finding happiness is not achieved in itself , but rather it is the side effect of a particular set of ongoing life experiences. This gets mixed up a lot, especially since happiness is marketed so much these days as a goal in and of itself. Buy X and be happy. Learn Y and be happy. But you cant buy happiness and you cant achieve happiness. It just is. And it is once you get other parts of your life in order.
HAPPINESS IS NOT THE SAME AS PLEASURE
When most people seek happiness, they are actually seeking pleasure: good food, more sex, more time for TV and movies, a new car, parties with friends, becoming more popular, and so on.
But while pleasure is great, its not the same as happiness . Pleasure is correlated with happiness but does not cause it. Ask any drug addict how their pursuit of pleasure turned out. Ask an adulterer who shattered her family and lost her children whether pleasure ultimately made her happy. Ask a man who almost drugged himself to death how happy pursuing pleasure made him feel.
Pleasure is a false god. Research shows that people who focus their energy on materialistic and superficial pleasures end up more anxious, more emotionally unstable and less happy in the long-run. Pleasure is the most superficial form of life satisfaction and therefore the easiest. Pleasure is whats marketed to us. Its what we fixate on. Its what we use to numb and distract ourselves. But pleasure, while necessary, isnt sufficient. Theres something more.
FINDING HAPPINESS DOES NOT REQUIRE LOWERING ONES EXPECTATIONS
A popular narrative lately is that people are becoming unhappier because were all narcissistic and grew up being told that were special unique snowflakes who are going to change the world and we have books constantly telling us how amazing everyone elses lives are, but not our own , so we all feel like crap and wonder where it all went wrong. Oh, and all of this happens by age 23.
The failure to meet our own expectations is not antithetical to happiness, and Id actually argue that the ability to fail and still appreciate the experience is actually a fundamental building block for happiness.
So, I say raise your expectations. Elongate your process . Lay on your death bed with a to-do list a mile long and smile at the infinite opportunity granted to you. Create ridiculous standards for yourself and then savor the inevitable failure. Learn from it. Live it. Let the ground crack and rocks crumble around you because thats how something amazing grows, through the cracks.
HAPPINESS IS NOT THE SAME AS POSITIVITY
Chances are you know someone who always appears to be insanely happy regardless of the circumstances or situation. Chances are this is actually one of the most dysfunctional people you know. Denying negative emotions leads to deeper and more prolonged negative emotions and emotional dysfunction.
Its a simple reality: shit happens. Things go wrong. People upset us. Relationships are abruptly terminated. Mistakes are made and negative emotions arise. And thats fine.
Negative emotions are necessary and healthy for maintaining a stable baseline happiness in ones life.
Theres a lot of people out there who subscribe to always be positive ideology. These people should be avoided just as much as someone who thinks the world is an endless pile of shit. If your standard of happiness is that youre always happy, no matter what, then youve been watching way too much Basket mouth’s comedy shows and need a reality check.
I think part of the allure of obsessive positivity is the way in which were marketed to. I think part of it is being subjected to happy, smiley people on television constantly. I think part of it is that some people in the self-help industry want you to feel like theres something wrong with you all the time.
Or maybe its just that were lazy, and like anything else, we want the result
without actually having to do the hard work for it.
Which brings me to what actually drives happiness.
Let go of the imagined result its not necessary. The fantasy and the dream are merely tools to get you off your ass. It doesnt matter if they come true or not. Live, man. Just live. Stop trying to be happy and just be.
So help you all gods!!!