I recently had a conversation with a friend about my New Year’s Resolution. You know, the one where I said I resolved to be happy?He said something like this, “I hope that 2013 will be a year of happiness. For both of us”
It was a good thought. After all, he and I had had a 2012 full of ups and downs. A veritable roller coaster ride. We both DESERVED said happiness.
Then it occurred to me that the verb hope is a passive one. You can not DO hope. I can HOPE that it doesn’t rain tomorrow, but I have no control over the weather. No amount of HOPING will make it happen. And no amount of hoping will create happiness.
And while, yes, I do understand that not all verbs have an associated action (I mean, how exactly does one just be?), we like our verbs to be something we can DO. We like it when we can DO something to make something happen.
But, how, exactly, can you MAKE happiness happen?
How cool would it be if we could just rub a lamp and ask the genie to MAGICALLY make every bad thing in our lives disappear and POOF we are happy?! That would be SOOOOOO awesome!
What do you mean it doesn’t work like that? Dang it!
I know you are all waiting for something pithy to come out of my fingers. Some sage words of advice on how to create happiness. But, honestly, I am still trying to figure it out myself.
I could say it is as easy as cutting out the people who cause us unhappiness. But, that is not always practical. I mean, if your boss is making you miserable – it is a wee bit difficult to cut that person out of your life…unless you are also ready to quit your job. Which is a completely different subject.
I could say it is as easy as forcing yourself to appear happy. Like “The Tears of a Clown.” But how is THAT healthy? The cause of the unhappiness is still there. Which brings us right back to how do you cut the unhappiness out of your life?
Maybe it isn’t about making BIG changes. Maybe it is about making little changes every day. Little things that make you happy. Yellow flowers make me happy, so maybe I start by buying a bunch of sunshine in a vase. Little things like that. And reframing negative thoughts to find the joy – no matter how small. Until before you know it, you notice the happiness more than the unhappiness.
By doing these little things, we are actively doing something to create happiness. It may not be the complete answer, but it is a start. And doesn’t every journey need a beginning?