Dreams of Happiness

So where have we been for just over a month? Well, isn’t that just life; interrupting all well-intended blogging plans.

I recently read an article about the top five regrets people have when they’re dying. What was interesting is that no-one really seemed concerned with ‘things’ they hadn’t done, like climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge or see The Godfather. Every single regret was emotionally charged; ‘free to be myself’, ‘maintained relationships’, ‘allowed happiness’. In the anxieties of everyday life (meeting deadlines, grocery shopping, waiting on hold to speak to a telco), it is easy to forget the big picture; the finality of our worldly experience. If, as these dying people suggest, life should be filled with people we love, respecting us for who we really are, while working towards our own dreams, are we all doing it wrong?

I can’t speak for every reader, but wouldn’t it be nice if life was just like that! No worries about money or work commitments. No need to freak out about that assignment due date. No continually measuring yourself against others. Just chilling, with the ones you love, living the dream.

I think the final point, “Choosing Happiness”, is critical to the success of all the other points. It’s crazy to think that in any situation you are in, you always have the choice to choose happiness. There’s this pressure from society on everyone to feel happy, to drink Coke and be happy and to share that happiness around. I don’t think this is necessarily the ‘happiness’ dying people are talking about.

7 Types of Ordinary Happiness


Something that has always fascinated me is the difference between happiness and joy. I think there are those moments in life where you feel true joy, where you literally feel a flow of joyfulness through your body and you think in that moment that everything is ok. I can remember feeling this feeling one day when I was driving back from somewhere and you know, I honestly can’t remember why it happened. I just have this vivid memory of thinking, yep, everything is going to be alright and nothing could wipe that stupid grin off my face. Happiness, on the other hand, is much more controlled. I can choose to enter a situation happy or neutral. I can control the shape of my face into a smile. I can choose to laugh at little things. I don’t think you can choose to be joyful. I think when joy fills you, it is something beyond your human capacity to stop. But happiness, we’ve got the power over that one.

I suffer from anxiety. Anxiety is basically the concept that you will never be able to choose the future, but the worst possible future will always choose you. In the realm of anxiety, there is very little room for happiness as happiness doesn’t fit into the worst possible future guidelines. Whether you are someone who walks with anxiety everyday, or just occasionally stops by for chat, you will have felt that helplessness associated with worst possible future fears. It’s a powerful thing to consider that happiness could combat helplessness. That you do have control over the future. That in the end you won’t be lying on your deathbed thinking “I wish I got a higher mark” or “I wish I had worked more hours” or “I wish I had gone to that party”. You won’t be controlled by the societal understanding of happiness equating to achievements being unlocked but instead fundamentally acknowledging that what we need most is love, support and dreams of happiness.

Reader, think on this. Add your own thoughts to our comments.

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