How simple this statement might sound, yet how easy it is to forget about it and get annoyed by little things that won’t even matter in 5 minutes. I remember watching Sex and the City as a teenager and one of the girls asks Charlotte if she’s happy and her answer stayed with me – she said something along the lines that she is happy, not all day, but definitely every day. That sounds pretty good to me.
Confusing my teacher as an 8 years old
When I was in primary school, my teacher gave us an interesting piece of homework. We had to think of what we wanted to be when we grew up. Except an archaeologist, I had a few more options, but then I thought of something really inclusive, where I could have any job I wanted, but still be that. So I told my teacher that when I grew up, I wanted to be happy. She immediately had that look on her face, almost as if she was saying – you can’t be happy when you grow up, that is not a job! O, how many things I would tell her now, not a job she says? Not hard work?! So to please her then, I told her that I wanted to be a vet to take care of the animals from the zoo (we have a beautiful Zoo in my hometown)
I can’t even begin to guess what went through my teacher’s mind, but then, she probably couldn’t guess what went through mine either. I have been observing adults…unhappy adults even as a child and I knew I didn’t want to become one of them. Ok, I was terribly dreamy also, and much more creative then compared to now, but at least I took “happiness” seriously.
I knew about us, self-sabotaging our happiness for a later one…I guessed, but moving to London has proved me that I was right. People think, on my low moments – me included – that happiness will make us slow, emotional, will keep us from working as hard, less determined, complacent – but on my good moments, I strongly disagree.
First time I noticed other people self-sabotaging themselves was between my fellow actor colleagues. There was a show were both dancers and actors worked together, but the more we were advancing in the project, the more I kept noticing a few of the actors looking as if they were depressed. That I did not understand why – this is not a job that you choose because it will bring you financial benefits, you choose it because you love doing this job. So why were they unhappy? Is being happy a choice?
The herd effect
Except starting half a year ago, I always travelled by tube around peak hours. To say that we were like sardines in a can…I will refrain from commenting on the sauce – is really not an exaggeration. I would sometimes wait for the next tube because I didn’t have space in the first one, or the second one. Can you imagine how happy people were to travel under these circumstances? Smiles were replaced by frowns, laughter by groans, and the happiest person seemed frustrated.
Now I travel after peak hours, mostly with excited tourists and let me tell you – it makes a world of a difference! I can’t say that now I finally enjoy travelling by tube, but it is so much easier. Although, if somebody is unhappy even so, you start noticing that more and more people act unhappy in the same tube. This makes me wonder whether being unhappy is something that we can just rob off…like yawning? Now, knowing that I am an optimist, you probably know that have have to show you the positive part of the coin also – being happy might rub off as well.
What Oprah taught me
I am listening to a ton of podcasts lately (on the tube), and so I came across Oprah’s Supersoul conversations. Several of her guests said that before going to sleep, they do something that made me activate my reception antennae. Before going to sleep, they think of all the things that they are grateful for that day. For a hugely analytical mind like mine is also, this is a proof that more good things happen in a day than bad. Not only good things of course, this is not a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, but good definitely outweighs the bad.
Being an optimist, a person that chose to be happy, does not mean sugarcoating the present, but keeping your options open for good to happen.
My friends were having a conversation this morning – a friend was in trouble, the other friend is excellent at giving advice. So the friend that was in trouble, after reading the message from the good-at-giving-advice friend, said that this is exactly the kind of advice she reads on the spot, then reads it again after 15 minutes, screenshots it and reads it again whenever necessary. This is how I feel about this blog post. While I am writing it, I am an optimist. Should anything happen to my positive state of mind, I will either go listen to Oprah or read this post again.
What is your advice in keeping your mind happy and positive?
Hugs and kisses!