“When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment; I told them they didn’t understand life.” – John Lennon
I read this thing today (oh boy), written by a marketing expert and motivational speaker (says she) about finding happiness or improving your happiness or making a better happy or something like that. She even had a chart to help clarify her thesis which, she admitted, was borrowed from someone else – a Happiness Guru. A Huru, if you will. The chart was divided into quadrants – a word which, by the way, should never be used in association with the search for happiness. The quadrants were to help you clarify what kind of happiness you were having and was it good happiness or false happiness or, god forbid, negative happiness. Honest. That’s what it said. A weather chart for your Happy.
Today will be partly melancholy with occasional sighs. Slight chance of a chuckle in the evening.
Sad. Not happy making at all. Self-Hhelp made cold, calculated and humorless. The idea of a Happiness Chart is as removed from humanity as Who Ate Your Parachute?, What Color Is Your Bus?, or Who’s Driving the Cheese? It’s exhausting.
So, here’s what I’m thinking. That woman, the marketing expert/motivational speaker, wouldn’t know happy if it came wrapped in velvet hugs and was hand-delivered by Beyonce, Mario Lopez or the Muppets, depending on her preference. Is there such a thing as too much time on your hands? Yes, I guess so, and there’s the proof.
I know happy isn’t easy for everybody and I never make light of that. Ever. But trying to make it a measurable commodity and analyze the smile out of it, is sure to kill your chances.
You can over think anything until it falls apart completely from the sheer weight of observation. Stare at the Mona Lisa for too long and her legendary beauty disappears into an alarming likeness of your Aunt Hazel (ok, my Aunt Hazel). Listen to the magnificent Hallelujah Chorus once too often and you’ll think, what’s all the shouting about?
My point, I suppose, is this: I don’t think there’s any correct way to be happy. You can’t measure your own against other people’s. It’s not a contest. But you can, if you’re lucky or open or not too self-conscious, enjoy the moments and not apologize for them and remember them for those other times when maybe the happiness weather report is looking particularly overcast.
Our industry is a constantly moving, constantly changing, stress-filled one. It can be overwhelming at times. Sometimes it’s helpful to be reminded that we’re lucky to be doing something we love, working with fascinating people, and helping others fulfill their dreams and live exceptional lives. Am I right? Sounds pretty happy making to me.