What makes us happy? Not what you think.

reduce the wine comic

Life is a process of learning about yourself and others. Life rarely makes us happy in the way that we think it will.

reduce the wine comic
reduce the wine comic

For example, I used to think that being happy meant making lots of money. That didn’t make me happy. In fact, it made me more unhappy because now I had lots of things and life felt even more empty.

Then I thought perhaps it was a relationship. However, I had a relationship and I was like “This is it?” Sure I felt love, but as that old song said “Like a worn-out recording of your favorite song.” I wanted to feel alive and feel that life was stimulating and exciting.

Then I did things that were stimulating and exciting, but that didn’t make me happy either. It seems that sensory experiences can only go so far and then that is the limit of that experience.

Finally, I had to sit down with myself and ask myself as the Spice Girls said “What do I want? What do I really, really want?” It turns out it was peace, and I didn’t know how to express that before.

Now I look at things in terms of if it will increase my peace or take away from it. What is peace? It is an individual experience but for me, it is being content with reality, without the need to always add or experiment to see what will happen. I am still intellectually curious about life of course, but fundamentally life is fine just how it is. I don’t have to do anything more to make it different.

What I have learned is that people who are always restless and looking for something “more” from life are unhappy. Rather than look for more, why not accept life as it is? Why not appreciate and live the wonderful life that most of my readers have? Yes, it is not perfect, but our struggles in life don’t add to our happiness but detract from it.

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Let me be clear. We all struggle in life. We can struggle for things that don’t help us, or make peace with things that do help us. The happiest and most peaceful I have felt in life is in letting go of the struggle, and embracing that things are ok even if they aren’t exactly like I prefer. Often I learn by letting go of expectations that the world that I created in my fantasy is not reality.

Just a thought.