Sustaining happiness

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A new journey to begin. Last Monday I was sitting in the lobby of a dentist office. The goal was to use the time wisely to mark papers; however, a magazine cover caught my eye. The cover talked about ‘happiness’ and are we really that happy? It got me thinking…I am a pretty happy person. I have been able to integrate happiness into my life and generally be a happy person. Are other people genuinely happy? I have come across many who have but also there are many who share that they wish they were happier.

Keep in mind that this does not mean I live in a unicorn, rainbow and cotton candy clouded artificial world. I live in reality and the reality is that the world can be challenging and difficult but it is how you handle what is provided or thrown your way. Sometimes we create moments and other times the moments happen and we have to react. I think that the vision people have of happy people are those people who you consider as either always having an annoying smile, look like they are from another planet, dressed in tie dyed hippy clothes or are smoking something that makes an artificial sense of reality. Happy people are actually content with what they have and view the world as possibilities. Don’t be quick to judge those who are happy as people who have not suffered adversity. Actually, they have suffered but for some reason, it has made them stronger and they don’t let adversity over rule them. They are able to move on. Equally, don’t judge someone who might not seem so happy. We view the world through our own eyes and create our own perceptions on what is happy and not and not impose this on anyone else.

I respect all and depression, anxiety and other such issues are not simple to solve. They are complex and no one choose to be in a deep dark place. So what if you are not that happy person? With societal pressures, it does make it challenging to be considered a happy person today. Technology certainly does not help the situation either. It is not about waving the happy banner in the face of those who are not or to say, “look at me, I am a happy person”. In fact, happy people do care about those who are burdened and try to shoulder some of the challenges faced. Happy people want everyone to be happy to take the time to listen, have conversations and share time with those in the hopes of bringing up spirits. People have moments of happiness and are able to smile but the trick is to try and create sustained happiness and my question is how and if we can sustain happiness.

All of this resulted in thoughts that started shifting to a new project that I want to work on. I want to now write a book on happiness but since there are a number of books on the subject, I want to write on an aspect of happiness. The essence of the book is about how there are moments of happiness and they are in bursts but is it possible to sustain happiness? The answer is a partial yes because of my own life. Yes, there are people who sustain happiness and that is what my life is like; however, is it possible for those who have moments of happiness to convert it to sustained happiness. I don’t know the answer to this question at this point and that is why I want to interview all walks of life to understand and appreciate their happiness moments and if they have been able to sustain happiness.

I have wanted to write another book but the thoughts and ideas were not resonating until the moment I was in the dentist office and the thoughts emerged. I got home and quickly jotted down the raw ideas before they were to vanish like the evaporation of water on hot pavement. I understand that it is going to be a long journey and it will take time to write another book. What I value is the fact that it means more conversations and thoughts about a subject I live in but need to better understand. I already know my happiness is sustained because of the people I have surrounded myself with, the fact that I can appreciate so many things and when things don’t go the way I want, I am able to pivot and look for the opportunities.

This book is not going to be an academic book about the brain and aspects of the physiological and psychological aspects of happiness. Also, by the creation and reading this book is not going to suddenly make someone happy. Some have suggested reading books on the subject but my thought is to avoid that so I have a clear personal perspective of this topic and no preconceived ideas or biases. I want to speak to people and gather stories and be able to share. Out of all this, I want to see if there is a way to build sustained happiness out of moments of happiness. At least out of all of this, I am going to have more tea and conversations and that is always a good thing.

I want to talk to you. I want you to share with me so I can learn and out of this learning is an opportunity to share with others. If your words help to create something of significance, you have helped others. See where this journey takes us. I value your insight and where this leads, we can only figure out later. Excited about this new journey – Writing this book is like a roller coaster ride. It was difficult to do the first time around but here I am, about to get on and strap myself for another ride. I am excited!

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