Happiness, the world needs some formula for brewing it. I think McDonald has had an attempt at spreading some happiness through its happy meal, but, happy meal was rarely happy for me, as a parent and the happiness generated didn’t last for my son’s lifetime either . When he was a toddler, my son after emotionally manipulating me to buy a happy meal so he can get the toy, gained short lived happiness, as McDonald’s would release new toys the next week to keep manufacturing happiness. But what about adults? Many adverts for fast cars, wine, beer, luxury holidays, big mansions etc, are all attempting to peddle happiness, but, no sooner have you achieved something that you think will bring you happiness, then you are chasing the next thing, because the feeling of euphoria is short-lived, the Jones’ next door or at work, or church, have bought something better or a new model that is now all ‘singing and dancing’ has been released.
As I pondered on this a couple of weeks ago, I went out for a meal and natter with five of my friends. I then decided that we needed to have a wisdom sharing moment, so I posed the question, happiness or stability, what would you choose? Of course, they all said hands down, without a doubt they would all choose happiness. However, I had pondered for weeks, reflected on my life, and the awareness and growth I have experienced over the years, my answer was, ” I will choose stability”. Well as you can imagine they were all perplexed, so I proceeded to explain my reasons and insight. I shall do the same now by first exploring:
The Webster English Dictionary defines happiness as- An agreeable feeling or condition of the soul arising from good fortune or propitious happening of any kind; the possession of those circumstances or state of being which is attended with enjoyment; the state of being happy; contentment; joyful satisfaction; felicity; blessedness.
In my childhood to 40’s, I experienced extreme and erratic mood swings, which I now know may or be referenced as bipolar or manic depression. When I was in control of life which is generally not as often as I would like, I would be ecstatic. But introduce other people or situations I couldn’t fully control, and I will lose it, become anxious and refuse to face the reality that being moody, would not prevent things from happening. Just by knowing that I couldn’t guarantee an outcome, would send me on a downward spiral for days. Of course, as the years went by, social media became a thing, and made things even worst, people out there are happy, go lucky and living life to the full, why couldn’t I have all the things and opportunities they have, so I can be happy too? But, truth is, the same social media began to reveal that there were people out there just like me seeking to get out of this prison of yo-yo happiness.
The answer wasn’t in things, in circumstances, in feelings, so where did it lay? In the midst of my desperation, I asked myself, it may be that it is not possible to be happy all the time, but it is possible to have a stable state of being, where by, whether I have the sensational feeling of euphoric joy or have to mourn a loss or endure a heartbreak, my world can still be ok, it can still come back to a place of balance. It dawned on me, that I sought control not of my circumstances or people but of myself and my response to them. With this awareness, I sought to redefine happiness, with stability being the core of that definition.
The Webster English Dictionary defines stability as – The quality, state, or degree of being stable such as:
Here it is, when you compare happiness and stability, you find what I sought, some element of control of my life and my response to uncontrollable external forces.
It is worth mentioning that, I also found some revelations from the holy book, the bible, which when you look at the definition of happiness, it is closer to the definition of stability in that it states that “happiness is a fruit of the spirit”. A fruit is something you produce from the inside out, not from the outside in. A tree produces that which is at the core of its nature, therefore if the core of your nature is stable and strong, you will generate fruits of happiness.
Having said all of this, it is my opinion, and each person around the table on the night had to ponder more deeply and look at their life choices to answer the question, Happiness or Stability, which would you choose?
I will like to empower you the reader with some insights and tools , so you too can ponder and make your own journey. So here they are:
The list could go on, but I think, you get the picture and have enough food-for-thought.
I leave you with this quote by Steve Maraboli: ” Happiness is found in the simplest things of things. Happiness is found in gratitude, in a kept promise, in a good conversation, in love, in friendship, in achieved goals, in fond memories, in the simple magnificence of life”
Originally published on www.aspiretransforminspire.co.uk