I'm going to mean what I say here. Or say what I mean. Or say something... Which is in this blog post, to not say anything about earthquakes for a change. The E word will not be mentioned here today- ( see my last blog post, if you are not from around here and are wondering what I'm on about.....)
I wanted to mention a couple of extra things about positivity and happiness, but especially happiness. I've mentioned these before, because they are so important. In a problem-saturated world (or may be it's not so much the world that is problem-saturated, but our conversations with each other), it is so easy to focus on the negative, on what is not going right. This is especially so for those of us living in an environment that had been completely devastated by you-know-what. Yet in amongst it all, there are still some amazing people who are not just resilient, but are also very happy. Even though they have been exposed to as much of the devastation from those- ground-shaking-thingies as the rest of us, they are surprisingly upbeat.
Happiness or optimism, or whatever we want to call it, can seem an elusive state at times. Easily achieved on one hand, yet on other occasions feeling like it is unattainable. And in a world that is driven by consumerism, it is so easy to think that the source of happiness is somewhere in there, in amongst the purchasing and the upsizing and the relentless striving for self-improvement. But it is actually a lot more simple and more accessible than that.
A big question is therefore about whether or not money can buy happiness. Well, yes it does. But also, no it doesn't. What this means is that It can help with your levels of happiness if you have absolutely none of the basic essentials of life. But after having your basic material needs met, more money does not bring extra happiness. The enormous flat panel TV, the latest Ferrari even, and the money to buy them will give you a brief buzz for a short while only. And if you want simple proof, ask yourself are your rich friends happier? And are the super-rich people of the world such as Oprah or Bill Gates or Rupert Murdoch even happier still? Especially not for Rupert Murdoch these days.... Once your income goes above the level of meeting your basic needs, it may then make your life a little more comfortable. But research shows that comfort does not lead directly to happiness, but instead actually leads to boredom.
Speaking of happiness and money, our levels of happiness are likely to be higher, when we are around people (living near to, working with, socialising with, etc) with similar amounts of money, regardless of how much money that actually is. People who are happier are likely to also live in closer proximity to family and friends. They will be less likely to move away to take up promotions or exciting new jobs, because they know that they are happier by being around people who are important to them.
So if happiness is not about having more money, or more expensive stuff, what else is it about? Well, what is also important is how we view the world. Specifically, this means when hard things happen to us, how we will respond, or how will we view these hard things. Because in the end, the thing that happened becomes a difficulty or a source of unhappiness, because that is how we have chosen to view it. Sure. hard things happen, with the ''E word' being a good example. OK, so such events may not have actually made many people happy. Yet there are some folks who have not been overwhelmed by them, who have faced the challenges from them head-on, and will ultimately come out as being more competent, more resourceful, and yes, even maybe more happy. The only difference, is attitude, or how they have viewed the event. The very same event that the other person viewed in a way that then caused them to feel overwhelmed by.
How we choose to look at life and events is so crucial to our own sense of self....
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."