Tag Archives: happiness

Give me the address of happiness. Where is it?

3 Nov

Imagine if happiness lives in today. Imagine if all the happiness you will ever be given is the amount you’re feeling right now.

How did that make you feel?

If you’re feeling joyful today, you probably just shrugged your shoulders to the notion that today determines your happiness. ‘It’s all good then.’ But if you’re having particularly miserable, lonely, rainy or gloomy Saturday, you might feel a bit disappoined or angry.

At least, that’s the way I felt when I first read that idea somewhere. I was having one of those days where you swear to yourself that gravity is playing some sick-minded joke on you, pulling you down harder than anyone else.

What?! Are you bloody serious saying that if I feel miserable today, I’ll never get happier? That I’ll never be happy? Do I not deserve happiness?

The outrage above is quite an accurate replica of my feelings back then. First I was angry, then I was angry at myself which made me feel guilty. All the while I was straying further from feeling happy, and I felt like all the inspirational quotes in the world had betrayed me. I felt like they were one of those scam e-mails saying: Give me your PIN-number and I will give you one billion pounds.  And I had fell for it.

Why can I not feel happy? Have I not tried hard enough?

The quote stuck with me, it sat right next to me on my bad days, staring at me when I was burying my face into a tub of Ben & Jerry’s to find cheerfulness.

That quote was the one maths equation you still remember from school, the one that you always sweated over in lessons and that always, always popped up in an exam. Just so you couldnt’ solve it again. Bad luck isn’t it?

No… wait. Maybe it’s not. Just because you couldn’t solve something yesterday doesn’t mean you cannot do it today.

Maybe it didn’t come up to annoy you, but to give you one more chance to realise things. Maybe it’s not the annoying, unsolvable, hair-tearing mystery but an important lesson you have been given to learn. And when you do, and you will, it is a true gift.

I now love the idea that today determines your happiness, because that means you have a choice. You don’t have a choice to change your past, the only choice that is found there is to accept and forgive. But right now, you have a choice, to change your tomorrow.

So, if you knew for sure, that what you feel right now affects  your feelings tomorrow… what would you choose? Would you try and find happiness? If yes, then you will find it. If not now, then tomorrow.

If you choose it now, you will not be miserable. If you choose to trust happiness even in your worst moments, it will wait for you to find it again, like a loayl friend. Happiness will not abandon you.

Photocredit: 9images.blogspot.com

 

Wishing you a better today, and a better tomorrow!

Facebook: Disconnecting people

30 Oct

Photocredit: businessboombolton.com

When the first phones came, Nokia was connecting people. Now, Facebook is disconnecting them.

You know what I’m talking about. When was the last time you saw two people out together, both staring at their shiny Blackberries? The only chatter that could be heard was the constant blibs of Facebook chat, of notifications and retweets. They didn’t look at each other once.

And it’s not like it is just them. It is me too, and you, and us all to some extent. Think about it, what is the last time you ‘added a friend’ to your life with the click of your finger?

How many friends do you have on Facebook? How many do you follow on Twitter? And how many, out of all those people, do you actually connect with? Yes, you might like the post on their wall (unless it is one of those that embraces the new openness of social networking a bit too fondly, describing their breakfast, and then their bowel movements after said breakfast, in detail.)

But do you actually talk with them?

And how is it possible, in this age of internet and the whole world on our screens, that people still grow lonely?

Might it be because we live to tweet and tweet to live? Because we are too busy posting a photo of  “me and my mate at Starbucks, having fun” to actually have some fun?

Photocredit: theartofeverydayjoe.com

Yes, I recognise the irony. It’s not like I’m phoning my best friend now. I am typing this, I am using the internet, I even have Facebook open on the next tab. But guess what?

I am not there. I am here, writing this, in the hope that I find someone like me, someone who still has Snake on their phone. Someone who loves reading real books, those bulky and awkward items, instead of the only hard back on their shelf being Kindle. Someone whose mother was on Facebook before them.

I am here, because I know I will find others who love books, art and the adorable glasses of John Lennon.  I am here because blogging is bringing the ‘social’ back to social networking. I am here because I know I will find laughter, quirks, beautiful writing, wisdom and inspiration. Because those are examples on things that connect people.

Examples on the opposite, on the other hand, would be ranting over the neighbour’s yappy dog on your wall or calling someone ‘a waste of organic tissue’ on Youtube because they didn’t share your music taste. After all, we can now talk to our beloved iPhones, but there is a reason why we don’t get married with them, why we don’t dance with them, why we don’t put the kettle on and cry over biscuits and tea with them.

So, who is the person you would want to do that with?

(Crying not compulsory, biscuits yes, they’re yammy.)

Go on, call them or write on their wall and plan a real catch up. Because social media is good for planning get-togethers but not for getting together.

Art prophecies of the future

26 Oct

The Future Man by Victor Hugo

Here’s the thought of the artist himself, Victor Hugo, on above artwork: “Nothing else in the world… not all the armies… is so powerful as an idea whose time has come.”

I hope he is right. Because if he is, I have and idea. It is the idea behind this blog, behind my pursuit for happinness. It is an idea I try to actively introcude to my life, and to the lives of people around me.  It is just two words, four simple syllables, it is this little thought:

More compassion.

And the best part is, it is not really my idea at all. I know it is an idea that others try to fulfill in their lives, just like I do.  I know it lives in many hearts. I know that there are people out there, compassionate and loving, caring and fond of little things, like stranger’s smile and surprise hugs. Actually, I believe we have all been given that talent. Whatever Darwin and natural selection has to say, I say there is much more to us than just bare animal instinct! We have been given the ability to love, the miracle of empathy. We are all capable of loving. Let’s be generous with it and create more of this love.

Because if Victor Hugo is right, and I believe he is, we can change this world. With more compassion, we do not create only a better potrait of the future man, we create a better mankind.

It might sound naiive. I know there is a lot of suffering in this world, more than I can imagine in my blessed little life where week’s biggest tribulation is that I missed a bus.  But think about Victor Hugo’s quote, think about the concept of an idea. Before there was a gun, there was the idea of a gun. Before there was war, there was the idea of war. Before violence, the violence was created in someone’s mind. Before this world was a chess game of super powers, leaders check and mating each other with nuclear bombs, there was someone who wanted that power. So with our idea, with the idea of more love and compassion, we can change this.  We can turn down the power of violence and spread the power of love. We can take this idea, this sweet and naiive-sounding idea, and turn it into reality. We can make this work. We can make this world a better place.

And when you doubt, the way I sometimes do, ask yourself: What are the options? Do we really want to see more crisis? Do we want the future man to be the portrait above: A hard shell of an armour, drained out of all empathy, feeling, compassion. Do we want to become efficient killing machines, love machines, labour machines, lost and unfeeling machines. Because the choice is ours, the choice is real. We have the choice to create more compassion or to destroy the idea of it.

Rock Drill, the original sculpture by Jacob Epstein

Rock Drill, the original sculpture by Jacob Epstein

The remaining torso of Rock Drill by Jacob Epstein

The story of the sculpture above, Rock Drill, is probably one of my favourite art stories ever. Epstein created Rock Drill in 1913 to be the prophecy of humanity.

“I made and mounted a machine-like robot, visored, menacing, and carrying within itself its progeny, protectively ensconced. Here is the armed, sinister figure of today and tomorrow. No humanity, only the terrible Frankenstein’s monster we have made ourselves into…” Extract from the autobiography of Epstein

The sculpture was originally attached to real miner’s rock drill. However, later Epstein dismantled it himself, removed the drill and cut off its limbs, leaving the torso displayed on the bottom picture.  But even if the threatening apperance of Rock Drill was destroyed, what it stood for survived. It was the epitome of suffering, violence and war. None of them has yet grown extinct. We can see their effects every day, some of us in news and some of us, sadly, first hand.

So, the reason I love Rock Drill? Well,  I don’t think it is the epitome of suffering at all, I don’t think it is the prophecy of our future the way Epstein intended it to be.  I think it is the epitome of what we can do! Or if it isn’t, we can turn it into one.

Let’s make it the epitome of change. Let’s dismantle the body of hatred and violence in this world, the way Epstein did with his sculpture. Let’s replace it with love, community and compassion.

I believe we can do it. But if I didn’t convince you, check out this blog:  The Better Man Project.  It sets an amazing example, it is one of my constant inspiration foundations. Every day, I return there for examples of love and care, for ponderings, for instructions. For the followers, for the visitors of the blog, for the community.

Do you see now that this idea is not alone, that is not flimsy and imagined? Do you believe? Because if you do, we can change this.

In search for words

24 Oct

I have found myself at loss the past few days. I have reflected back on my old mistakes, looked forward to my dreams, but at the same time felt totally incapable of doing anything about either. It worries me. Because while I still have great spasms of inspiration and excitement, while I still know in my heart I need to work hard to achieve my dreams and to contribute in making this world a better place, by making myself a better person, at this moment all I wonder is how? How I’m going to do all this?

That is the question that bothers me the most. Because when you don’t know the why’s and the how’s, the reasons behind your feeling of tiredness or hurt or disappointment, it is hard to regain your sense of direction. It is hard to have a plan and then work the plan. Quite often you leave yourself there, in your anguish, not because you like to self-pity or don’t want to change things, but because you don’t know how to do it.

First, all you have to do is get to know yourself again. To put your work aside and work on you. Because if you don’t know who you are, you will never know who you can be. What you can achieve.

That is what I’m doing now. Getting to know myself, reflecting back on things. I realised I have been too busy doing this and that and everything to notice that many things have changed in my life during the past three years. That I have changed with them. I realised that in my will to look forward, I forgot to look back.

I think we are sometimes pushed too much to progress, to be all we can be and carpe diem every moment that is given to us. I think sometimes we push ourselves too much, papering the walls of our hearts with millions of to do-lists. But if all we do is charge forward, we might well forget the way back home. We have to know, in all our hurry to improve, how to get back to ourselves. What is the way to our hearts, where is the quiet place for looking back and resolving who you are. In all honesty, and in all kindess.

Looking back doesn’t need to be a guilt-trip to all your mistakes, it can be a learning curve to avoid the speed bumbs in the future.

That is what I’m doing now, trying to judge myself less and teach myself more. I’m polishing the mirror to see myself clearer. Because I don’t want to feel lonely in myself. I believe none of us do. Because if we are lonely in ourselves we can never be truly happy in others or in life.

That is also the reason I have scattered here some advice, in the form of photos and beautiful quotes. So that we never forget the lessons we have learnt and the ones we still can learn. So that we feel more consoled, in our search for words and for understanding. So that we remember, those wise words live in us and we can find them, always, if we just find ourselves.

What is the advice you would give to yourself today?

How to beat the Monday syndrome

8 Oct

I bet we have all reached a point in life where we just look into the mirror or out of the window or stare blindly in front of us, dazed out, and think: “I just can’t go on.” The kind of moment when first it feels like a beautiful, perfect day, a wind in your hair like freedom, and you’re driving down the fast lane of your life 120 mph and laughing. Then BANG! You hit the brick wall of reality.

Maybe it’s something really big that sends your car spinning into chaos, or it might be something small. Exhausting period in work, a particularly hurtful misunderstanding or the nightmarish Monday when everything goes wrong. Or it might be the nagging feeling that nothing is particularly wrong, but something just isn’t right either. The feeling of ambiguity can sometimes drain us out the hardest, because while it might be nothing to worry about, just a passing feeling, it can cause us to lose our purpose. For all the worriers out there, I can volunteer to admit that I fit the last description. A problem the size of a fly can turn into a full-scale war of worries in my head. After dropping a pile of work papers, which I have been sweating over the whole day and just organised into their final form, I can feel  the ‘AAAAGH my life is falling apart!’ taking over. It might sound dramatic, but in that feeling it’s hard to remember it was just papers you dropped and messed up, not your  actual life.

Today has been one of those days for me. But this time, I decided not to give in. Instead, I wrote a little recipe that works better for me than Carpe diem does. This is for beating out all those rubbish Mondays:

First, stand straight. Don’t let your gaze drag at the ground. Look up. Look at the clouds.

It doesn’t matter if they’re rosy pink or a grim blanket of rain. Just look at them, see them moving in the wind. They might be grey now, but soon that passes too. Or they might be a pale pink only to be later dazzlingly gilded by the first rays of the sun. Just take a good look, and realise that the clouds up there are your life. They’re moving.

Now let go of the bullying emotion you have been holding onto. Blow it out, right into the sky. Look at it being carried away by the clouds, to be replaced by new things, always. The sky is never empty, it is an ever-changing canvas of your life. Look at your life moving on. You’re not stuck. To live in a moment, you just have to look up.

The clouds are beautiful, just like your life. If you can’t see it now, look again in half an hour and there will be a whole different landscape waiting for you up there. Life will surprise you.

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First photo: © daydreamdaisies, the second and third: weheartit.com