Recently I watched the movie Hector and the Search for Happiness starring Simon Pegg and Rosamund Pike. It got me thinking about life, the pursuit of happiness, and the search for meaning. All of us are different, so what makes me happy or what I find meaningful may be different than what works for you in those categories. The point is to at least take the time to think about it. Coffee makes me happy for instance. The taste, the warmth, and the extra kick I can rely on it to give me in the morning. I find meaning in writing and in making other people happy. The catalyst for happiness can be little things or big moments.
I will be the first to admit that I have a pessimistic side. It used to consume me which led to extremely unhealthy thought patterns. With a combination of medicine and self-help, optimism and pessimism exist in a more balanced yin-yang within me. Reading and the process of learning has been more medicinal to me than any drug a doctor has prescribed me. Although I do have a prescription for medicine to help curb anxiety I feel like that would not be enough. I chose to dive into a myriad of self-help books. One of the most profound ones that I have read and have touted before but can’t tout enough is Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl. It has helped me to learn the process of framing. My father died in 2012. That was a big moment that I definitely was not happy about. I can choose to focus on the loss and let it destroy me which would put me in the position of losing much more or I can choose to focus on living a life that he would be proud of and a life that I can also be proud of myself. I will never forget the things my father taught me and I am happy to have so many memories of him.
One of the things that I admire about some of the happiest individuals I have known or heard about is that they are very happy despite having been through negative experiences and/or their lack of materialistic things. If they can be happy, then what stops everyone from being happy? Take the time to think about what really makes you happy. If it helps, start making a list or keep a journal and write down something that made you happy that day. If you struggle to think of something then feel free to use the fact that you are alive and hopefully woke up without hornets on your face. That, I assure you is something to be happy about!
Ten things that make me happy:
4) Seeing sparrows hop around
7) Making someone smile
8) A bed that is perfect comfy
9) Being home
10) Waking up with no spiders on my face
Another thing I have experienced recently is the process of buying a house. It is infinitely both parts exciting and terrifying. The best part about it is not so much the process or the house itself. It is what the house represents. The person that shares the house with you is someone that also shares your life with you. Another thing I think about is the fact that I could have more money if hadn’t gone to concerts or taken as many trips as I have. However, I wouldn’t have those experiences. Money isn’t everything. Those experiences are priceless.
Here are some quotes that I find meaningful in relation to enjoying life and living a meaningful life.