I started writing this piece last night during a lull at work. I wanted to understand the concept of happiness more as well as spread this idea to others. But, of course, it’s so easy for one to simply tell you to be happy, but not practice that very message.
I had my whole day planned out, to maximize my cancelled class and do everything I needed to. But the universe had other plans. I got back from the gym, and my AC was off. Not hotter or colder than normal. It simply wasn’t on, wasn’t working. I took a shower and went down to the front desk to ask for maintenance, where I was told that the AC wouldn’t be back on until 2:00 pm because of some emergency. This new information effectively ruined all of my plans for the day (or so I thought). As I type this post, I’m sitting at the library and not locked away in my dorm room.
I had to adjust my schedule. The day isn’t ruined because I couldn’t stay in my room all morning and work. It’s a beautiful day here. The humidity is finally gone. The sky is cloudless and bright baby blue. It’s roughly 70°. (Did I mention there’s no humidity?)
I was about to let this lack of AC ruin my day and effectively eliminate my happiness. Then I remembered the blog post that I had started writing last night…
Perhaps it’s because I’m the oldest child and took on the imaginary role of sister-mother to my brother and sister? Perhaps I was a therapist in a past life? I appear to be exceptionally good at looking inviting enough for people to tell me what’s plaguing their mind, day, week, year, life.
And I’m okay with this.
I was talking to my friend recently, and he was complaining about all the work he has to do this week. I listened, offered some serious advice, some SpongeBob references, and then threw in some positive attitude attempts towards the end.
I enjoy being this ear for people because it allows me to gain a better appreciation for my own life, my own “struggles.” It allows me to spread the positivity that I hope to effortlessly maintain in my own life.
But shit happens, as the saying goes.
Homework piles. Senior project looms. Articles have due dates. Then tack on your alarm not going off at the proper time or whatever else happens that causes stress. It’s in these moments when happiness feels impossible and life is certainly never going to get better.
But, it does.
Apparently, the AC going off does not mean the end of the world. Who knew?
There’s a difference between fleeting happiness and permanent happiness that is important to understand. Fleeting happiness is conditional – it may be because you’re wearing your favorite outfit, you finally got your paycheck, or you did something enjoyable that day. But the problem with relying upon this happiness is that it’s fleeting. It’s conditional. It’s bound to fade.
Permanent happiness is permanent. (You’re welcome for this insight.) This happiness is contingent upon having a positive demeanor and outlook on life. The first steps to gaining this mindset are practicing self-love and gratitude. By taking the time to truly appreciate every moment and experience, the universe rewards you with more to be grateful for. What goes around comes back around.
In an average day, we will experience more than 50,000 thoughts, and it seems that the majority of these will be negative. Just as it’s important to be happy, it’s crucial to understand that it’s okay to be sad, depressed, mad – but not permanently. Permanently happy people recognize their emotions, experience them, and then move on. Don’t let the AC shutting off ruin your whole day.
How wonderful would it be to begin and end each day being the absolute happiest you could possibly be?
Let’s start now.
For more reading about happiness, check out these articles by mindbodygreen: