“To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” – Bertrand Russell
Most people spend their lives waiting for something to happen. When they’re happy, they’re waiting for something to ruin that happiness. They feel it, an energy of sorts, waiting around the corner to consume their smiles. When they’re sad, when they feel something is missing, they wait for something to make them smile again.
In the first situation, fear takes a hold of their lives. The moment you have something to lose, that’s when you’re truly afraid. The moment you want to freeze a moment, to preserve the status quo for ever and ever and ever, that’s when stuff happens. Life is motion, we are taught that early on.
In the second situation, hope is what keeps us going. Hope for change, hope for better moments, hope that what we lost might return to us.
But the thing is, there’s always something missing. Something to add, something to take away, something to get rid of. We live in the moment, but that moment can only last so much before it dissolves into another one. Happiness, defined as a singular moment of ecstasy, is just that… it tends to last longer than all the rest seconds that slowly tick away inside clocks, but it always transforms into another moment.
The overused and slightly cliched definition of life as a road has always been true. Life is a road. We always live with the future gleaming over the horizon. Sometimes we stare in the rear view mirror. We’re rarely aware of what’s going on around us… we never seem to absorb enough, because we’re always in a hurry to reach a place we’re not even sure exists.
Most people don’t know what happiness is. They can make lists, they can tell you what’s missing, what’s wrong, with them or the world around them, they know they don’t have enough.
Greed is fueled by the feeling that you don’t have enough. So is ambition. Or unhappiness, for that matter. The difference is given by the way you act about it. And the way you feel about yourself.
Most people don’t want to act. They want stuff to happen to them, not the other way around. Also, they’re never willing to accept the fact that happiness is a state of mind. There’s always something missing. It’s all about how we appreciate what we have and what we’re willing to do to acquire all the other things we want. How we do all that is really what defines us as people.
We often take things for granted, and it’s only when those things are taken from us that we truly begin to appreciate them. We seem to miss the most the things we had and lost, and we get so caught up in this feeling that we don’t want to accept the fact that life goes on.
This is a fact. Life goes on. No matter what, life goes on. Yet, when we lose what we hold as the most precious to us, that’s when we refuse to believe it. We think life has stopped, time has stopped, hope has died.
Maybe this is the secret. You have to keep telling yourself that life goes on… on the good days and on the bad. You have to always know that stuff happens. Life happens. Things get broken or lost. Or found. Or sold, borrowed, never to be given back.
Things happen; they always do and always will. How you process everything, that’s what happiness is all about.