Most people aspire to be,”Happy” most of the time. It seems to be an inborn soul need-reaching out for that quality of life that as a culture we define as happiness.
As a global traveller I have met many people from various cultures. If you ask a farmer his idea of happiness it would be favourable weather for a good yield for his harvest.
It all depends on whom you ask what the answer might be.
For me ,it is that state of being in which I enjoy abundant health, the company of good friends, a faithful ,loving companion, the ability to decide every day what I shall do with my time and creative energies, to be free from having to make money and having enough of it to live a healthy life style and to travel when and where I wish. Yes, to replenish my ward robe from time to time, to give to friends as the opportunity arises.
I have worked and indeed live with many miserable millionaires. This does not mean that all millionaires are unhappy and miserable. I’ve encountered many miserable poor and homeless people and I have also encountered happy poor people.
Most people will agree that it is easier to be happy if you have a certain level of income every month in which to take care of your basic needs and some left over to enjoy life’s pleasures.
It seems that many people fall on one side of the fence or the other side of the fence when it comes to being happy and having the time to enjoy it. I have observed that many rich people are stressed with little time to enjoy their money and the people I have encountered with a lot of time had did not have any money to enjoy it.
I remember , having lunch with the owner of an investment company in London at a lovely country side inn in Northern France. After, several bottles of good French wine were drank-mostly by him- he lamented-, “I’m time poor, I have not had time in the past two years to visit my nice home here in France”. He must have continued being time poor as he sold this house to a mutual friend six months later.
After this incident, I dubbed myself time rich. I more or less retired at age 46. That is when I burned out. I took an indefinite period of time off , boarded a plane and landed in Bangkok Thailand. My plan was to go to India for a while then onto Japan where I would teach English with my newly acquired ESL Diploma.
Well, after six weeks life stirred. I cancelled my Air France flight to Mumbai and stayed in Thailand for three months before returning to Toronto. I have wintered in Asia for the past 23 winters. I’m staying home this year for personal reasons which I may disclose in later posts.
I propose that one strives to have harmony between both-enough money and time to live a life of their choosing.
This brings me to the idea that happiness is a choice. This is the one sentence that was meaningful in a book by the British psychologist , Dr. Robert Holden.
Indeed , in the midsts of examining the theories of many authors , this is the cornerstone of being happy-making a choice in your best interest of course. Not making a choice is making a choice. It is living your life by default -allowing others decide you fate instead of making decisions that will serve your happiness as it were.
Take the example of exercising and eating healthy food or getting enough sleep every night. If you don’t eat healthy food ,you will have a condition of ,”dis-ease”. The same thing with lack of exercise. If you don;t move you will feel heavy ,sluggish, and tired as you put on more and more weight.
One of the most astonishing experiences I have had over the year working as a body-psychotherapist is that people experience themselves as not having permission to ask and have what they truly desire. I feel this is the result of our early conditioning by the various social agents in our lives – our parents, the school, the church, the government and the media.
Most people grow up not knowing who they are and what they desire in life. I’m finding this true of young people leaving school and not knowing what direction to take with their lives.
Somewhere along the line they didn’t acquire or lost a sense of passion in their lives. My bet that their early passions were programmed out of them by some agent outside of them. They didn’t feel their passion , vision was realistic , possible so they gave up on them.
I read that ,Sir Walpole said that , , “luck favours those who are most prepared.”
This is the thread I will pick up in my next post.
I welcome any feedback, additions and comments from readers.