Happiness is a manner of traveling
“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” – Margaret Runbeck (1905 – 1956)
Happiness seems to be that universal commodity that everyone demands but not many realize that sometimes, the pursuit of happiness makes many including me, unhappy.
People pursue happiness in all ways; it could be as simple as holding a fleshy, chubby baby or as complex as a hot air balloon ride in Greece. The older you get, and the richer you get, the possibilities become increasingly limitless.
For as far as I can remember, my resolution at the start of every year was To Be Happy. Sure I was happy enough but there were moments which I allowed to ruin my day because I let them, and I’d always wanted To Be Happier.
These moments could be anything from damaged luggage, missing my appointment because I was late, or people screwing up at work. All these despite me knowing that I shouldn’t sweat the small stuff or that I should accept what I cannot change with a smile. I tried to search for happiness in all places and was moving from Not So Happy to Happy on most days, it was like a continuous effort which I always had to remind myself. Honestly, it was tiring.
Happiness is a manner of traveling
It was sometime in 2011 when something in me ticked and I found myself not having to try To Be Happy. I am often contented and at peace without having To Try And Be Happy. This will remain a mystery I will never solve but I guess it’s a coming of age thing, together with increasing self-awareness and maybe, just maybe, the effect of having done yoga for 4 years. Or like Margaret Runbeck said, it really is a manner of traveling and not a destination.
Sum up the little moments and enjoy each one like you’ll never get another.
For me, happiness is a sum of the little moments that matter; it could be a quiet moment by myself in front of my window every morning before I go to work, that brand new feeling in my body right after yoga, a slice of strawberry cake with a cup of bitter coffee by the verandah, a funny tweet that makes me look at things differently, honest conversations with genuine people, waking up realizing I have 2 hours more to sleep, finding a song or a passage that knew exactly how I was feeling, or I won’t deny it, coming across a gorgeous watch / scent / dress / shoes and buying it just because I want to, and could. Some people say true happiness can’t be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed since it is purely the experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. I think that’s true but believe you shouldn’t deny the tiny bursts of joy that comes with owning beautiful things as well. Enjoy the things money can and cannot offer you.
Not sweating the small stuff as long as it can be solved by money.
Things don’t get to me as easily as before. In fact I try not to sweat the small stuff as long as it can be solved by money. And if you think about it, a lot of the troubles we have in life can be solved by money. On my recent trip to Turkey, my iPad’s screen was damaged. I was upset for probably 1 minute and then decided to let it go because I knew there was nothing I could do there and then, and it can be solved by money eventually e.g. check what my warranty support can do, or seek compensation via insurance. The old me would have been way more upset and might even worry for days.
Losing your loved ones, your health, and broken hearts unfortunately can’t be completely solved by money and these are things that you need to sweat and work on.
Money isn’t and shouldn’t always be the solution to every thing but if it helps take your mind off and lets you travel lighter, why not. Between being miserable and poor, I’d opt for the latter.
Surround yourself with well-adjusted people, hopefully with enough sense of humor
I surround myself with well-adjusted people; they may not be the richest / slimmest / most gorgeous around but I can always count on them to have a good heart, sound logic and just enough sense of humor to tide us through. I try to avoid toxic conversations with people who flaunt, whine, pry, envy, compare, and gossip.
Don’t like it? Change it. Can’t change it? Embrace it.
If there’s something I didn’t like in my life, I try and change them as much as I could. If you hate being fat, then start exercising and stop eating junk. If you hate your job, talk to people, explore your options, read up a little. I”m not saying it’s easy but patience and determination will get you pretty far.
But the older I get, I also realize that there are certain things in life you can’t fight and it’s easier for everyone if you’d let them be, and accept them for who/what they are. I’m not saying we should lower our standards but if it’s something you find worth compromising for, then it’s time to start embracing them all in.
You are as happy as you let yourself be. The reverse is true too.
It sounds like the simplest thing but you are as happy as you allow yourself to be (the same applies to misery too unfortunately); and the more resilient you make yourself to be against hiccups in life, the better chance you have at this elusive thing known as happiness. Happiness for me is really, a fine balance between working hard to get the things I want and love in life, changing what I disliked with the understanding that there are days when you have to stop sweating the small stuff, and having a contented soul at the back of it all to appreciate all the little moments in your life.