It’s been intriguing to notice how I’ve managed my happiness levels, or more broadly my entire emotional state, lately. Especially when external events are not going to order, or as I would like them to in any given way.
We’ve so long been trained into thinking that external events and circumstances determine our happiness. It’s a direct equation that goes something like this:
This External Thing or Circumstance = My Happiness Levels.
Example: Bad External Thing = Unhappy.
It really puts us on a rocky ride, that equation. Because we can’t control our external events – things happen that we would never have chosen and we wish hadn’t happened. Or the opposite: things don’t happen that we wish would.
You sure can get buffeted around on the happiness scale, when you’re treating that equation as real.
And that’s a big part of what these last few months, since I started this happiness experiment, have been about. Turfing that equation out and using another one.
The New Happiness Formula
So here’s the new happiness formula I’m working on:
I Can Be Happy (or at least have an inner state of calm) No Matter What.
(see how I did that without using a single mathematical symbol? Pretty clever maths, huh?)
It’s an interesting equation to presume to be true. And that’s what I’m doing with this experiment into the landscape of happiness: presuming it to be true, and living my life on that premise. That’s why it’s an experiment. It’s meant to be exploratory, trial and error, fluid.
I am happiest when (#19)
I’m connected to and spending time with friends. People are extremely important to me. A life isolated from others would be hell for me. If I ever had the choice between the general population and solitary (doesn’t everybody have these little fantasy games they play about imprisonment? It surely can’t be just me…), it would have to be gen.pop. every time. My mood is always lifted after I’ve spent time with one of the people I love to be with, and who feel the same about me. I’m lucky to know so many fabulous people.