“Nothing gets done, unless you have a little fun.”
This is my maxim—my adage of conduct for every waking moment of life. Life is about happiness, not as a destination, but rather a necessary element for the journey.
You are always on your journey, as am I and everyone else. If “happy” is somewhere you are always trying to reach, you’ll never find your way and you’ll definitely never get there.
Simply put, “happy” is not a place.
It’s also not something you should try to achieve. Rather, by adapting “happy” as an aspect of life—wherever you go, whomever you meet or talk to, whatever happens and however it may unfold—you’ll always at least have your happiness.
Happiness is potent positive energy
Happiness is a highly potent positive energy that can easily be shared. How do you think the drug ecstasy got its name? (Don’t do drugs, kids.)
By bringing happiness to a mundane job, you’ll be the only one standing, plus you’ll be standing tall!
You could have the most mundane job from a societal or cultural standpoint, but by bringing happiness to your job, you’ll stand out.
With a super-boring job, you’ll stand that much taller. If everyone else is sitting at their desks and cubicles, well damn… you’ll be the only one standing, plus you’ll be standing tall—towering over all!
But this positive energy goes well beyond occupational productivity. Being productive in life can be considered in an astronomically multifaceted sense.
Happiness and productivity
Occupational productivity is obviously crucial to career success. But in other contexts, being a productive friend, relative, educator, student, athlete, manager, writer, speaker, lover… you get the idea: Any role you have in life is benefitted by productivity—by getting stuff done. And most people have more than one or two roles.
Happiness makes every task of every role easier. And it makes the not-so-easy things less difficult. (Let’s admit it; life is not all sunshine and rainbows. Again, don’t do drugs, kids.)
Need more “happy”?
Don’t let people get you down. Don’t let life get you down. Don’t try to find or get to happiness. Whatever you do, do not try to buy, make, invent, or sell happiness. You’ll always be left wanting more, as Mark Osborne demonstrated very well in “MORE”, the Best Short Film at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival:
I remember when I first saw this short stop-motion film around nine or ten years old. Even at this young age, the message was so powerful that I chose to watch it again several times that same night. Now as an adult, it holds a significantly deeper, even more powerful meaning.
I remember having forgotten the name of the film and desperately searching for it online a few different instances since first coming across it. I guess I knew something was missing during those occasions along my journey. Coming across the video on YouTube by chance a few weeks ago made me realize and acknowledge that I am on the right track; the feeling was still deep and powerful, but in a positive way. But enough about my nostalgia and serendipity…
Quest for happiness
Happiness is not in the other room or in the closet, you won’t find it at the supermarket or department store, and it’s not down the road or a few blocks over, or in another state or country. It’s part of the journey, a necessary aspect of life.
Happiness it the epitomical and (literally) qualifying aspect of a “happy life”.
What are you living now: a life, or a happy life?
Whatever you choose to do—today, tomorrow, this weekend, next month, next year, always and whenever—consider whether or not you will be happy doing it.
You are a human being, not a human been. You want to be happy while doing, not hope you’ll be happy once done.
Worry and happy don’t mix
Both as an internationally famous song title and the primary lyrical hook thereof, Bobby McFerrin coined a simple four-word phrase that will be eternally well-known:
“Don’t worry, be happy.”
Aside from the addictive whistling and humming melodies, scatting, and up-beat finger-snapping, this song holds an infinitely powerful message—especially in these four words.
The profound message is simple and self-explanatory, albeit often much easier said than done. Don’t worry, be happy. The way I like to think about these four words is in terms of the process.
Trust the process
What are you doing right now?
Why are you doing it?
What is it doing for you?
Where is it taking you?
Everything in life is a process. By adopting the philosophy that everything happens for a reason, you can eliminate a lot of worry—and subsequently embody happiness more easily and consistently.
So seriously… what were you in the middle of doing before you started reading this article?
Were you rushing to finish up that report for your boss? Were you arguing on the phone with a family member? Did you just come back from a fast food run because it’s almost the end of your work day and you haven’t had breakfast yet?
If any of the above resonate with you, I strongly urge you to consider your level of happiness. You must be happy during as much of the process as possible.
A happy process
On the other hand, were you putting the finishing touches on a project you have been passionately working on with a colleague? Did you just hang up from a phone call with a good friend or close relative who is coming to visit you this weekend? Maybe you just finished the delicious chicken salad you made yourself for lunch with the extra time you had this morning?
Notice the similarities between these processes and the ones a couple paragraphs up. The latter set is much more likely to include happiness.
Happy where you’re heading
Some people have their entire lives planned out.
The guy with the plans to retire to a specific boulevard on Maui who lacks happiness at his job as a corporate computer programmer will likely have a much less fulfilling process. And when he gets to Maui in his retirement, will it be the thrill he has been anticipating for all those previous decades?
By bringing happiness to his job, he may realize that the boulevard on Maui is just as fulfilling as staying where he is and maybe being able to retire early.
Connect Flow Enhance Co-Founder Mary has a friend who is “officially” retired from her job as a corporate mainframe programmer, a job she loved and was happy with all of her career, from the way she talks about it. And now in her retirement, she is still very interested and engaged in technology!
Others have no idea what tomorrow will bring.
And realistically, it doesn’t matter. You must be satisfied and happy along the journey, not once you reach the destination. By bringing happiness along, you may not even feel the need to have a destination anymore.
In closing, I leave you with about 3 minutes of thought-provoking words from Alan Watts.