The power of simply being content.
Life is crazy! There is so much going on. I’ll be praising the happiness I feel in one moment and five minutes later, I’ll find myself sinking into a sad rut. Within an hour, I can easily go through three to four different emotions. Each of them feels just as real and endless as the last.
Emotions are possibly the scariest force within this world. Nothing is as persuasive as your emotions. When things are going well, your emotions let you know how great you feel. You give yourself pats on the back and feel like you could do anything. Once life starts to get difficult, your emotions will make you feel like you’re trapped there. They will try to convince you that you won’t experience fun or joy again. Emotions magnify these moments, often exaggerating their importance.
Appreciate the Little Moments of Joy
Luckily, this is a happy moment. It’s not special like experiencing the birth of a child, a wedding, or an accomplishment that was years in the making. It’s not something the kids or grandkids will hear about years from now. It is, however, important. It is beautiful and sweet. It’s a mini gift like a hug or short love note. This moment may not be special, but it is good.
This moment is where we can hope to spend most of our time. A calm, peaceful sense of joy. This is the place where we focus and smile at work. This is where we have an engaging conversation with friends, family, and acquaintances. It is here that we go to bed with a smile and thanks, ready to wake up in the morning happily and at our own pace.
This moment is the one I spent so many years overlooking. I played sports with the goal of winning games and possibly setting records. I went to school to get an A and hopefully make more friends. Calm, peaceful moments had no place in my search for ecstasy. I wanted to feel the best I had ever felt and to have life-changing moments, so I thought very little about moments of moderate joy.
Over the years, I have learned that just feeling good is a gift. I still have big goals that I hope to accomplish and I still look for new ways to make my life better, but I don’t take my subdued happiness for granted.
I used to believe the happiest people spent all their time on the rollercoaster. They went from one amazing moment to the next, loving every second of it. I figured they barely had any downtime because they were always on the go from theme park to skydiving to a baseball game.
Now, I believe that the happiest people spend most of their time in a state of subdued joy. Regardless of who you are, you’re going to have a lot of downtime throughout your life. Even Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, and any other celebrities you can think of, spend most of their time talking to family and friends and being by themselves. I now believe that your happiness is determined more by how much fun you have while waiting in line for the rollercoaster than it is by how often you can get on the rollercoaster.
I still look forward to the opportunities I get to go on the rollercoaster and I work toward them every day, but I try to spend just as much time enjoying my place in line.