'I've found it! The secret of happiness is... *BANG*'
Happiness, an elusive trait by all accounts. I'm usually happy, despite my
best attempts to make it seem otherwise. On close inspection, I believe there
are several 'tricks' to my happiness. Mental disciplines, you might like to call
Sympathy : "Oh, how terrible." - wow, that's so useful and really made me feel better.
(yes, I'm being sarcastic)
I expect you've heard much new-age tripe about "positive thinking" to influence
your life. While close to [what I consider to be] the truth, I think this is also
very misleading. Certainly the best results I've seen from this sort of positive
thinking is disappointment.
My take on life-influencing is double-negative thinking (a deliberate pun).
No doubt you'll have heard people extol the virtues of negative thinking ("If
you expect the worst, anything good is a pleasant surprise, and anything bad you're
prepared for"). I don't argue with that other than to suggest "prepare for and
prevent" rather than "expect".
Obviously if you can do that, that's a fair step towards being happy. The more
important one (in my life, at any rate) is positive seeing. Looking at life
positively in retrospect. The best example of this that comes to mind is from a
few years ago in my life. I was hit by a truck and broke my wrist. There are two
main ways people tend to respond to this.
'Positive' : "Could be worse, you could have been killed." - this is most
people's idea of a positive outlook. To suggest that it wasn't as bad as it could
be. Quite a lot of people told me I was lucky. What about all the people who weren't
hit by a truck at all? They must be really lucky.
I adopted a third way, and it's this that I consider the key to always being
annoyingly happy. Really positive, not just un-negative. There were reasons why it
was good to have been hit by a truck. It stopped me doing a job I didn't want
to, it changed my outlook for the better, and I got insurance money to boot.
Most people in the same situation would probably not see two of those, and would
probably complain that the insurance money wasn't enough. The fact remains, I
consider my life better for having been hit by the truck. Had I not been, I probably
would have got a more devastating injury from the job.
Another 'trick' to happiness is triggers. Think of something that makes you happy,
or choose something to make you happy. It's best if it's something you'll see quite
often. Mine is crows. In my most miserable time, crows held my spirits up by showing
themselves whenever I felt down. When I realised this, I stopped needing them to
actually show themselves (though I always appreciate it), and would just imagine them
whenever my mood was low. Some people might find it difficult to think of a thing that
makes them happy. I urge them to make something up. Just like something.
Of course, the 'easy' route to happiness is to have a really good reason to be
happy. I have one of those now - but I was happy before.
[ Think back... ]
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