Sometimes I wonder, what makes other people happy? I know I’m a relatively happy person and I know the things in my life that not only make me happy but increase my happiness. How do others perceive happiness? I watched the movie “Hector and the Search for Happiness” and it was one of those movies that opened my eyes as if they had been closed all my life. It was a movie I saw on Netflix and thought “why not?” because I was bored and feeling sick in bed. Turned out to be one of the best movies I’ve seen in a while.
During the movie, Hector seeks out what makes other people happy, because he isn’t happy himself. He jots down what he finds from other people and I’ve written them down below. Some of them I’ve thought of before, but some were very insightful for me especially during this medical journey I’ve been made to take on. Hopefully they give you some insight or make you think just a little more deeply about what makes you happy and how you can allow yourself to find true happiness in your life.
- Making comparisons can ruin your happiness. I am guilty of comparing myself to others all of the time. Whether it be about my job status, my financial status, or my health. I think well these people are healthy and I’m not. Why is that fair? Or something like well I don’t make as much money as them so I’m not as successful. Making these kinds of comparisons will only drag you down. Everyone is at different points in their lives, and everyone is dealt a different hand. We can’t compare ourselves to others if we want to be happy with ourselves.
- Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story. This can be true for some and not true for others I feel. It’s like how people make little white lies in order to not hurt their loved ones feelings. Keeping a part of the story out may spare someone. That being said, keeping yourself partly out of the loop may spare you as well.
- Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness. Lately, I’ve been focusing so hard on avoiding situations where I feel left out, or avoiding situations where I am disappointed and frustrated. I worry so much about that, I forget to just breathe and enjoy the present moment. We will never be happy if we are always focusing on being unhappy.
- Does this person bring you predominantly a)up or b) down? This can relate to a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife or friend. At this point in my life, I have accepted the fact that I have and will continue to grow apart from some people in my life, some of whom I’ve considered very close friends in the past. It’s not an easy thing to accept, but it’s a fact of life. For me, I deal with so much physical pain that I already have enough negativity in my life just stemming from my own mind, frustrated and sad. I don’t want or need to be around people who bring even more negativity into my life. I want to be surrounded by people who lift me up, make me stronger, bring smiles to my face and laughter to my belly. I think it’s really important to ask ourselves “Is this person (or persons) bringing me up or down in this life?” It’s hard to leave people behind, I know because I’ve done it. It’s hard to cut the tie with someone you were once so close with. In the end, you have to worry about your own happiness and surround yourself with people who truly care for you and your well-being.
- Happiness is answering your calling. Not everyone finds their calling early in life. Some know it from when they were little and some find it after they’ve already had a full successful career. However, we can’t do things based on money or what other people think. We have to do them based on what we were meant to do. I know I’m meant to help others. That’s why my interest is in non-profit or hospital work. It may not be something I will be able to do coming right out of graduation (I do have college loans to pay off after all) but I know it’s something I will end up doing and I can’t wait.
- Happiness is being loved for who you are. To me, this is the most important one on this list. If you’re with someone who doesn’t appreciate your non-stop laughter that comes around for no reason at all, your appetite for pizza, your weird voices and silly dances, then why are you with them? You want to be with someone who loves you for you, flaws and all. We all have weird quirks that need to be given the freedom and love they deserve.
- Fear is an impediment to happiness. This is one I totally relate to. Unfortunately, I let a lot of fear into my life. I have irrational fears of spiders, horror movies and tsunamis. But on a more serious note, my headaches have opened up a door to fear that I wouldn’t have even known was there had I never had these headaches. I fear I will never feel “normal” again. I fear I won’t be able to do the things in life I want to because of my headaches. I fear that when the time comes when I want to be a mom, it’s going to be almost impossible due to my headaches. I fear the unknown. The medical unknown, mostly. I’ve been trying extremely hard lately to push aside my fear and live my life day by day, moment by moment. Really soaking in each breath. It will allow me to be happier, I know, if I just shove fear aside.
- Happiness is feeling completely alive. There are a few moments, memories and feelings that make me feel completely alive. One is when I’m sitting on a beach, not during the middle of the day, but either early in the morning or during the evening. In the past, I’ve tried to create a time where I can just sit by myself on a beach during these times and just really think about nothing. Staring out at the ocean that we know so much about yet so little about at the same time. Feeling the breeze through my hair. Just really feeling alive. Embracing everything around me. Find somewhere you can go or something you can do that for even a split second, makes you feel completely and totally alive. It’s a feeling that’s hard to explain and impossible to replicate.
- Happiness is knowing how to celebrate. Celebrate the small things and the big things. The little victories and monumental victories. It will make you feel so much more accomplished, strong and proud of yourself. Celebrate with a dance, singing your heart out, drinking your favorite cocktail, hugging the person next to you, treatin yo self and buying that necklace you’ve been eyeing all month. Find something that makes you feel proud enough to celebrate.
- Listening is loving. How often is it that we chronic pain spoonies talk and talk about our situations and experiences, and the person we’re talking to doesn’t seem to actually hear us? All too often for me. Sometimes the people don’t mean to, sometimes they just don’t care. The people who listen to us and listen enough to the point where they feel like they’re fighting our battle with us, are the ones who love us. Truly listening to someone shows more than some spoken words ever can.
I challenge you to really accept these 10 pillars into your life, to create a more true and lasting happiness for yourself. I also recommend you watch the movie I mentioned above, because it’s seriously awesome!
This life is so good. I hope you all allow yourselves to be as happy as you deserve to truly enjoy every moment you’ve been blessed with!