As I write this I just finished taking my own advice. Find your own happiness.
Read that line again. Find Happiness. What is happiness?
(Today it was taking the time to teach the kids how to play checkers and find 30 minutes to practice guitar.)
Now before we continue lets get all of the fapping and masterbating statements out of the way. That isn’t what we’re here to discuss. I wanted to share a story about my older sister first before jumping into this topic and how it relates to all of us. My sister has a 16 year old son who is just starting to drive on his own. She was married a few times and her last marriage wasn’t the greatest. My sister and her son were was discussing relationships and life when he told her that he was really happy for her. Because for the first time in a very long time he could tell that she was actually happy. Not just making things work or getting by day by day but genuinely happy. I’ll never forget the profound impact this had on both my sister and myself. As a parent you think that you can isolate your children from the things that are happening around them but in reality you are doing them a disservice as they grow up if you do. Perceptive little creatures. The lesson I took away that day was that finding happiness comes in various forms but you can’t just fake it until you make it when it comes to this certain part of being a human being. When you are alone with your thoughts, deep down you know if you are feeling fulfilled and happy.
When I was a much younger stud in my 20’s I thought happiness was found in my accomplishments only. Going out drinking and bringing home that hot girl? Winning. Accepting a dare and being able to outdrink someone else? How about posting up 300+ Army APFT scores? Most of my happiness was only tied to the things that I could accomplish and how they related in making me feel. This changed for me dramatically when I was injured and was told I wasn’t going to be able to walk comfortably or at all without some assistive device. I went from having all of these labels for myself which created my sense of individual and societal place to having nothing. Or so I thought. Goodbye happiness right? Wrong. Time for a new perspective on life!
As part of my relearning how to look at the world one of the biggest things I had to overcome was ONLY finding happiness in what I considered pure success. In my old frame of mind if I didn’t fully get back on my feet and walking I was nothing but a failure. There was no point in celebrating small successes because it wasn’t a “real” success. There are many people who still look at the world this way. Let’s talk about school and how it relates to success. You are graded on the work you put in and the knowledge over whatever subject is being tested. In my old frame of mind if I wasn’t getting an A I wasn’t a success. The amount of effort and time put in were not a factor. You’re first or you are last as the movie quote goes. However in the new frame of mind you can be proud and find happiness in whatever grade you receive instead of only finding failure. There is one large caveat that must be explained right here. The only way that this new frame of mind will work is if you truly put all of the time, effort, hard work, and due diligence that is needed. If you do the absolute best that you can and still get a B that doesn’t mean you have failed. It means that you did the best you can and hopefully you learn a valuable lesson and this is where growth begins. If you can use this approach to anything you do in life you will find yourself feeling much more happy and encouraged to continue to challenge yourself because even a failure is a chance to come back and succeed again.
There is more to be written about this topic but I wanted to share one of the little lessons that I’ve learned as I’ve been on this journey called life.
Work hard. Do the best you can. If you fail, make sure to fail doing everything you can so you can learn from it. Happiness is strange and at times elusive. If you find it make sure to hold it tight.