I was talking with a friend who is going through a difficult time in life. His life kind of turned him upside down and now he is trying to find his bearings and re-find his happiness. He has started questioning his reality and reading self-improvement books to gain new perspective on life. He said to me, “If you told me just a year ago that I would be reading self-help stuff and doing this woo-woo crap I would’ve looked at you like you were crazy.”
People are funny. When life is easy, we don’t question it. We go about our merry way maintaining the status quo thinking we are happy. We tend to live in this funny illusion that the easy life is the happy life. We think that whatever we are doing has been rewarded — even if we’re not exactly sure what we did to deserve it.
But I’ll tell you what, all human beings have some demons rattling around their brain (unless you’re the Dalai Lama and I’m sure even he has demons of his own). What happens when life throws us a curve ball? Oh then we freak out. We lose our sh*t, become world-class drama queens and probably take it out on the people around us.
The easy life and the happy life are not the same.
Some of the unhappiest people I know have the easiest lives, and everything is going their way. But they don’t question their happiness. Life is easy so they just go with it. They figure, “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” I think that is sad because they could be happy and have the good life.
Just like a gift horse, you want your life to have some bite! The only way to do that is to engage your life fully. Even when life is good dig in and get your hands dirty. Face your demons and whip them into shape. And if you don’t have any demons, you could always use more happiness. So…
When life is good you should focus even more on being happy. Actively do things like:
- Exercise forgiveness
- Practice compassion
- Count your blessings
- Develop your talents (and share them)
- Stretch your comfort zone
- Leave every situation better than you found it
- Leave every person better than you found them
Strengthen your happiness skills while you’re already happy so that when life DOES throw you curve balls you will be ready. You won’t be thrown for such a loop. You won’t question your purpose or integrity or self-worth. Life is rough enough when the going gets tough. It’s even tougher when you haven’t exercised your happiness skills.
Who needs happiness?! We all do — even happy people.
And the Dalai Lama? He is probably the happiest person on the planet. Why? Not because he is demon-free or because his life is easy but because he works on his happiness every day. So, is your life good? Great! Now get off your derriere and go be happy-er!