Everybody sees Happiness as an incredible quest, without seeing what’s in front of us. We always search for what we don’t have, forgetting to enjoy the daily simpliest pleasures. It seems to be a real crisis of happiness, while we forgot all we had, as little children, who themselves care for any few thing to come and bite life breathless. We all claim for more, but never organize us to understand, appreciate and consume the situations that could help us to get higher happiness. We just put it on doom, mischance or broken life, never source on ourselves to know us better and find the light inside. It must not be the fault of life. Or others. It might be our fault, just forgetting the meaning that we really put in our life. Consumption became a powerful exposition for fulfill our fitness indicators, and expose others, in order to seduce, capture or trick the game. It must stay pleasure first, as we don’t buy any good but values, brands or attributes…Marketing gurus got their own skills to show you in a mirror, that doesn’t reflect you anymore. We have to seed the “be” against the “have” and be inspired of it.
This summer, I’ve been really inspired, reading two books, under the hot sun of Tunisia. Happier from Tal Ben-Shahar and The Dip, little handbook from Seth Godin. One explaining path to more happiness, with lots of stories, examples and concepts, simply with bright exercises to follow a coherent line into the tale and being able to apply few rules, quite immediatly. I’ve noticed, through this awesome story, the underscored aspects of having in mind the two terms of appreciate pleasure: short-term shots, necessary because they are the fuel of each day we spend, and the deeper elements that shape the “meaning” of a whole life, used as guides, goals or long term sense. And to link both, we have to make a work on ourself to share and balance the benefits, resources and efforts to build something relevant and sustainable. We link then to the other guide by Seth G. about “quitting”, leaving something in our life, on several motivations: fear, doubt, too much effort or energy, difficulty, no more envy, mindset change or whatever that could make us shift. And that’s when this period comes, after the beginner’s chance or the one-shot short-term pleasure, that one must make choice: go on or leave? Who never thought about it or being confronted to a major choice in his/her life?
What does it mean? refusing happiness at the threshold? no pain, no gain?
And I found some correlative coincidences in the fear of the dip and the fact of “consuming” happiness, burning it too fast, without any plan, goal or forecast for meaning and without giving a long-term sense to life. Starting, beginning in something, diving into new experience, company, life need a snap of vision, envy, chance and motivation, but probably less energy because of novelty and curiosity. We all know how to get a small shot of pleasure, in simple few things we can allow us daily with meetings, close and personal thoughts and dedicated moments. But the real problem is to “process” them to make them scalable, sustainable and part of something bigger: goal. A kind of envision with steps to cross, the “complete estimated and fully hope” way of your life to be discovered. But how get to it while you don’t organize the way, the steps? If you consume all your energy, focused on short-term pleasure, when dip is coming, because it always does after a period of “trial”, the feeling of doubt, mistrust or despair will appear. Some will get from this, with lots of energy and target to grow the hard curve. But many won’t, because they will miss the whole vision of “sense” for their life.
But when you take time to set goals for achievements, giving you a “reason-to-live” beyond, you start to draw something more clear and valuable, all along the path…This gives you courage, force and energy, and maybe you won’t spend any time in the dip, surfing on pleasure, all along the steps. I tried to represent the way I figure it, on the second graph. Imagine you have a stairway, where each step is a new challenge, hurdle or thing to achieve, and for each step you will get all your attention to feel, learn and get all the lessons from: you’ll get more profitable time, enjoyable and memorize a lot more than if you don’t get any attention at all. But moreover, you will touch to a higher level of short-term pleasure and you’ll earn it forever. This is the principle of having a far away goal, while spending time to appreciate each part of the path to go there. While consuming your short-term pleasure, you’ll touch a well being level like a trigger, and function with a “ratchet effect”. What you earnt is forever, speaking about welfare level. And that’s a real funny way to share and balance between easy approach to solve daily stuffs, learn and feel, then dreaming of the big picture that makes sense for you. And the best way to get rid of this “haunting” dip, that demands so much efforts, pain and questions for you to go on…
The best you plan for the future, the best you can appreciate all the strong steps to go there, and feel all the energy of passing the difficulties of life. “Success calls success” we could tell, like a process circle that gives you motivation, sense but joy in the action. Because a kind of “rat race”, refusing pleasure now for hoping it later is to ascetic, take time to stare the whole story, imagining how you could get tot he peak, enjoying all the phases, encounters and lessons that make the process. “If there’s a goal, there’s a way”, I could add “an enjoyable way”.
Don’t quit, ever, just have an enjoyable trip, reachable goals, reliable and fulfilling milestones, and trust for you to take right decisions with insightful and tuitions mindset. An eye on the horizon goal, the other on daily feelings. You’d better start now…
Resources if you want more:
- happiness as healthcare
- happiness loves company
- happiness as your business model
- the happiness project