Ha ha ha…bad joke i know! Happiness is a strange thing. Some people seem to be happy, others not. How much does this depend on the person or how much on the society and surroundings?

In recent years i’ve been actively pursuing happiness. Now, it isn’t because i was so sad, or because i felt my life was crap – but because i’m happier when i’m happy! (i know kinda obvious huh!). It’s not that hard either, i tend to be an optomist so i can see the good in situations, where other people see the bad, but i also spend a lot of my time doing things that i enjoy, and learn to enjoy the things that i do!

I read two quotes today that support my theory on it:

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)

One recent one, and one from a while ago…but both follow the same theme. I believe it is largely up to yourself to find happiness. Of course, i cannot discount the fact that external factors can have a huge influence, sometimes nearly completely removing all chances of being happy, but i also realise that in most cases that isn’t true. Many people aren’t content because they regularly do things they don’t enjoy, and don’t seem to realise it slowly eats away at them. How many people do you know that don’t enjoy their job? I made a resolution after leaving my last job, to never do another job that i dislike – and i’m going to stick to it.

Perhaps the biggest change to bring people more confidence and respect for themselves is to find ways to be happy with themselves. Society and the media has a fantastic ability at making everyone (especially women) feel that they are the wrong shape or size, have the wrong hair colour, wear the wrong clothes, etc etc. Spending a little time to sit down and realise how fortunate and beautiful we really are, will greatly benefit everyone.

The easiest example is to talk about the 1/6 of the world living in extreme poverty (described as not having enough food to eat, not having clean water to drink etc – not the same thing as living below the poverty line in the US!). Compared to those people, if you are reading this blog…sit back, take a look around and realise…life is not actually that bad.

The less obvious example, which concerns everyone and everything on this planet, is life itself:

– The fact you simply have internet access ranks you in the top percentages of the population in terms of wealth and living conditions.
– Humans have been around for thousands of years – you were lucky enough to be born in the time of iPods and fondue!
– The infant mortality rate in the world’s richest countries is roughly 5 in 1000, getting to this stage in your life is already doing ok (can be as high as nearly 200 – that is a 1 in 5 chance that you will not live past 1 year old!).
– The average number of sperm in a single ejaculation varies between 100-1000 million – you are the winner of one big ass race!
– The very conditions for life to exist on this planet are so uncommon that it is possible it has never happened and may never happen again.
– This solar system is one of billions in our galaxy alone – what is beyond our galaxy? How many more galaxies are there?
– In reality…you simply being born is probably as likely as 1 person winning the lottery 10 weeks in a row!

Is your life so terrible that you have any excuse to not do the best to enjoy every minute of it? You only get one chance.

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