My pursuit of happiness
I’m one of the lucky ones. My wakeup default setting has always been “Fuck yes world, what cool shit are we gonna do together today!?” I never understood what it felt like to feel uninspired, defeated, helpless or sad for extensive lengths of time beyond a few days before my period. I never had to master the “positive thinking” mindset that we all read about in self-help books growing up because it came to me so naturally. That’s why at the end of last year & for the subsequent 6-8 months that I woke up feeling different was so crippling.
My what felt like a bottomless pit of inspiration had finally run dry & I would have to talk myself into a better mood each morning. I was desperate for that passion to return to me that had fulled my business since its birth. The intuition & gut feeling that had steered me fearlessly in new directions since a teenager was diluted & confused by new unfamiliar feelings that felt, well shit. The worst part was, I couldn’t pinpoint the cause. I had no “real” reason to feel anything but happy, excited & grateful to be here. After all, I’m white, with white people problems. Since these feeling were all so new to me I would start to feel sad about feeling sad & subscribe to a down-spiraling negative loop each day. The pressure on us to stay happy & positive in the 21st century is the cause of so much unhappiness. The fucked irony is that often trying to think something into existence shines a light on what we are missing instead & by the law of attraction we are unintentionally manifesting the wrong shit, the exact opposite of what we want.
If you were raised around the time I was (born in 84) you were probably bombarded by motivational books, speakers & catch lines that told you to simply think yourself to your happy place, that it is simply & literally a “change of mind”. While I believe the “think positive” approach is a good starting point, I have come to learn via my own experiences, that this method is great at pulling me into the present & bringing me happiness in that moment, but is not necessarily sustainable. There is a cocktail of factors & I have discovered at least for myself that true happiness is not just a thought & a feeling that can be changed at any moment, its a consequence of the way I live. An extreme example would be if I decided to murder someone today, I am doubtful that I could convince myself out of guilt & into happiness tomorrow. The unhappiness is a consequence of my life choices. As a less extreme example; I haven’t eaten McDonald’s in over 15 years & I am certain that if I downed a burger right now, I would experience some serious brain fog & an extreme loss of energy from all those sugars, flavours, meat, carcinogenic oils, that my body isn’t used to digesting. This would put me in a shitty mood since productivity is so important to me & so this puts a healthy diet near the top of my ‘shit that makes me happy’ list. Another thing I have noticed is that when I look at my phone in the first hour after waking up, I start my day off in reaction mode; I look at who liked & said what on insta & scan over all the shit I missed out on last night & then check my inbox & arrange my whole day around what other people want me to do & not what I truly want from my day. This has a massive effect on my mood, inspiration & productivity.
Some other life choices that have helped me get back to my “Fuck yes world” mental state; not getting shit faced every weekend, meditating, exercising, having sex on the reg, not spending my precious time with pretentious dickheads or debbie downers, etc.
But the biggest life/mind shift that has helped me regain my best life full of all the positive emotions (happiness is just one of them), is accepting that I will also have off days & experience challenges. Instead of trying desperately to banish bad days & their consequential unpleasant emotions with positive thinking, I accept them as temporary & absolutely necessary to my growth (business & personal). Knowing that I will soon be able to view these what feels like fucked up situations at the time from hindsight as positive, transports me there quicker. It’s very important to know that no one is happy all of the time. Think about how fucking crazy that would make them. We have been trained to view unpleasant emotions as negative vs positive, but what I have learned is that all emotions play an important role in our best life if we utilize them properly. Let’s empower ourselves by using yuck emotions to take action & push us forward. Let’s recognize the beauty in imperfection.
Till next time, so much love to you my fellow creatives!
Great podcast on happiness for your drive home; Unstoppable by Kerwin Rae The key to happiness with DrTim Sharp