Are you happy right now?
How happy are you supposed to be?
If you’re like some people I talk with, your target is 90% happiness.
But look around you, where is the evidence for that?
Oh right, Coca-Cola ads and Instagram.
The Average Happiness Level
What’s the average happiness level you see, in your REAL life and the people around you? I’m not talking about whether you have a good job or nice car or a vacation coming up. I’m talking about the minute-by-minute experience of your life.
There’s the trivial negativity – time spent yelling at the kids, worrying about Covid or the election, irritated at traffic, feeling victimized by work. (It’s actually not so trivial, but that’s another discussion for another day.)
And then there’s the serious stuff – upset over a past or pending divorce, money problems, or even the loss of a loved one.
It ain’t easy being a human.
What if life was SUPPOSED to be 50/50; 50% good, 50% not-so-much?
What if you were actually doing this human experience right?
Maybe this seems like a dismal view of things, to just accept that half the time, we’re gonna feel sort of crappy.
I’ve found it to be the opposite of dismal. It’s freedom. It’s courage.
What Causes Negative Emotions?
Since I too am a human, I experience my 50% negativity. It’s so freeing not to have to fight against it and to not feel like a failure because of it.
It’s nice not to need to drink as a way to put a happy sticker over it. If I feel bored or frustrated, I just feel it.
The funny thing is that we create this negative emotion for ourselves. Our wives or bosses or bank accounts don’t create our feelings, our thoughts do. Yes, our own thoughts.
You’d think that would enable us to change the thinking and get to that 90% happiness level.
It doesn’t seem to work that way. But I do know that when I manage my thinking, I get to exercise some choice over my 50%. Instead of squandering it on petty irritation within the constraints of a timid mediocre life, I experience some of my 50% in pursuit of achievement and purpose.
I tell you, it’s a lot better.