What constitutes living a good life? While individual happiness is particular to each person, general well being is quantifiable. A good life includes a healthy diet, or healthy enough for you to still enjoy what you’re eating, a moderate fitness regiment, an open dialogue with your inner circle of loved ones, and having a life purpose. I touched on how life purpose and moderation lead to longevity in my piece: Longevity, but in this thought piece I wanted to touch on the particular issue of the pursuit of happiness, and how so many people seem to be lacking general happiness in their daily life.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the golden advice: manage your expectations, but in what way can we apply this concept to our daily lives? We can’t help but want things, so how are we suppose to trick ourselves into not minding if we don’t get said things? A strange thing about the mind is the subconscious. It directs our emotions, knee-jerk reactions, dreams, and general worldview. People born in a third world country are people who have only known that life. They want far less than us and would be far happier to receive even a sliver of what we consume regularly. They may have a general sense that life ought to be more, but most people simply accept every day as another gift to be alive. Somehow, hardships make individuals extremely appreciative. People tend to strive after undergoing something hard. It doesn’t mean you HAVE to suffer in order to be happier with what you have, but simply being self aware makes a big difference.
I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the greatest things to happen to me in my life was when I had a slipped disc. At the time it was just awful and misery-inducing, but afterward I couldn’t help but feel more alive than ever. I was inspired to write! I didn’t know in what medium then, but I knew things would never be the same. I’ve also had other accounts of difficulties, (not to be compared to anyone else of course but just to use as examples,) of having an ego death after taking too many magic mushrooms, falling into a K-hole, and having my already half-absent father leave my family. My most recent difficulty was quitting drinking, and since then I couldn’t be happier with my life. It’s made me more honest than ever after admitting to everyone that I had a secret addiction. Regardless of the current quarantine Canada is under, every day in my eyes has been like glistening golden honey under a shining sun.
So to expand on the idea of being honest, secrecy is a unique form of internal toxicity that no one can truly manage. Sociopaths are the best at lying and then sleeping like a baby, but it doesn’t mean their existence isn’t torture. Living double, triple, quadruple or whatever-the-heck lives makes a mess of your unseen subconscious. Honesty will set you free, as many have said over the ages. It may seem like telling the truth is impossible. I mean, why mention things from years ago when the person never found out? Because it may be eating YOU inside. Could honesty ruin relationships? Yes. But if you truly seek happiness, you must let it go.
I’m not yet thirty, so proper life advice can’t really come from me. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t discovered certain insights into the human condition, though. Even back when I was a teenager, I remember uncovering elements of the mind that struck me as such an easy thing to care for yet so many people seemed to have problems with. The difference time makes to insights, I have found, is coherence. It is the difference of information, to knowledge, to wisdom. So I still very much have growing to do, but for now just remember that your own happiness is predicated off of your ability to look inward and see what you can see that may be hindering daily harmony. Thank you as always for reading. I love you, and I’ll see you next time.