How to be Happy in 5 Easy Steps Meme
Almost a month ago, Alex honored me with a Happy Award Meme. Thank you, Alex! The task: List how to be happy in 5 easy steps. I’ve been thinking about, and struggling with, this one. It’s from Alex, though, so I didn't want to ignore it any longer.
Excuse my philosophizing* below. Having been home on med leave post-surgery for the past 4-ish weeks, I've had time to ponder happiness, the meaning of life, and whether newborn baby Kimye’s first words will be, “This is liiike soo seriously unfair, Mommy. They keep liiike trying to take my picture, but you won’t let me like wear mascara yet!” or “Move over, Taylor. Beyonce had the best music video of all time! Of all time! I don’t care what ya’all think, mother f*ckn b*tches!” (We can only hope baby’s nannies will set a better example.)
Back on task, Five Reasons Why I’m Not Going to List 5 Easy Steps to be Happy, Meme-style:
1) What does “meme” mean? I thought it meant “theme,” but that doesn’t really make sense here. I don’t get it and thus can’t do it.
2) Being happy isn’t what it’s all about. If everyone worked solely on inflating their own happiness, the world would continue down a broken path. Strive for relevance, to make a notable contribution, to help others.
3) I’m averse to the “How To” craze. When I started submitting my writing years ago, I hadn’t heard of a query. I sent a one-sentence letter with my work: “Please accept XYZ for publication.” I hadn’t researched submission guidelines or the publishers either. Yet my first two attempts at publication were accepted. I don’t advise being haphazard, but I do advise trusting yourself first and foremost. We tend to give others too much credit for knowing exactly what we’re supposed to do and how we're supposed to do it. Often, these others aren't more talented than we are, just more confident.
4) There’s nothing easy about being happy. I see it more as fleeting sensation than a permanent mood state. I think it’s much easier for us, the privileged sector of the world –we awake safe and warm, eat full meals, access clean water, etc.—to say that “Everything happens for a reason,” and “Look on the bright side.” The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It’s both.
5) Alex summed it up beautifully, focusing not so much on happiness but how best to live a meaningful, kindhearted life. I’d just tweak his list a bit, since I don’t have a wife, and I’m Jewish. Like Christianity, though, Judaism emphasizes loving-kindness. It’s our obligation to do whatever we can towards peace on earth.
In sum, strive for relevance. This might lead to happiness, will probably breed contentment, and will definitely contribute to a better world.
Have a meaningful day, and keep a smile!
*I thought I made the word up, but it's an actual word (at least, according to spell check).