Sharon Salzberg poses the question, “What do I really need right now to be happy?”
As I write this, I’m discovering that this question can be challenging.
This morning I resolved to be happy all day. I’ve had a wonderful day being happy, but now at 9:52 pm, I’m facing a dilemma that is challenging my resolve. I’ve committed myself to the task of writing this blog post on creating happiness. Instead of feeling giddy about it, I’m feeling stressed about composing it. I’m also feeling tired, as in I feel like going to bed right now. What a promising start to a blog post about creating happiness!
Are you facing any tasks today that you just don’t want to do?
One option for creating happiness right now would be to completely avoid the task at hand. If I employed this option, I would shut down my computer immediately and crawl into bed.
Can you relate to this option?
This type of happiness would bring a kind of instant relief similar to what a runner might feel when quitting a marathon at mile fifteen. The disadvantage of creating happiness in this way is that it can come with a high future cost that might lead to discontentment. For example, if I chose this option, when I awoke tomorrow, I might well be unhappy that I still had this blog post to write.
A second option would be to completely ignore the idea of creating happiness right now and settle for misery. I could choose to be miserable the whole time I work to complete this blog post on happiness.
How often do you employ this option to get things done that you really don’t want to do?
The third option is to answer Salzberg’s question as a way of completing the task at hand in a joyful manner. This option is fun because it involves creativity.
For example, what I really need to be happy right now is to approach writing this blog entry with a new frame of mind. To accomplish this, I’m going to create an “I love list.”
- I love that I have a blog to write for.
- I love creating happiness.
- I love to write… and my list could go on.
As you do the task that you don’t want to do, how will you answer Salzberg’s question?
Once we create a way to be happy while completing the task we would rather avoid, the task becomes easier. Once the task is done we have more opportunities to be happy: happy that we are finished with the task, happy with the work we did, happy with the freedom to move on with our day.
Living happily ever after right now can be a challenge. Even when writing about creating happiness, I discovered that I still needed to play at creating happiness.
But the amazing reward is as we build our capacity to create happiness no matter what circumstances or tasks we face, we give others and ourselves the gift of our happiness.
Game Of The Day
What do you really need right now to be happy?