Last weekend, I went on a snowboarding trip. I almost canceled because I had a lot of anxiety. A couple of the people on the trip were friends, but there would also be new people there. Meeting new humans is never been something I look forward to:
“What will they think of me?”
“What if I say something stupid?”
“What if I embarrass my old friends?”
A couple days before the trip, I read through the guest post that you’re about to read below. Rainbows and unicorns appeared when I read this part:
It is said suffering is excessive focus on the self.
Damn. There was the answer. I had anxiety because I was focusing on myself. Quite selfish and stupid. Immediately, I thought:
To hell with it. I’m just going to be me and not worry what anyone else thinks.
I felt better and had a great time on the trip.
Today, I’m thrilled so share a guest post about happiness from The Happy Philosopher. This one hits home because I’ve been working on my happiness for a while.
How to be the Happiest Person in the Room
I came home from work and told my wife we needed to talk. I had been soldiering through severe burnout for months now and I could not do it any longer. Something had to change. I simply was not happy anymore. I told her I could work at most five more years and then I was quitting. That was my plan. It was not a great plan, but it was something.
This was the final punctuation in a conversation that we had been having for months. But as satisfying as it was to have an end date, I still had the same problem. I was not happy. I needed to become happy now. I was not willing to wait 5 years.
No one taught me how to be happy; not my parents, teachers or friends. There was no elective in my high school or college class I could take. As I sat down later that night with a glass of wine I took a deep breath reflected upon this.
What did I know about happiness and what was I doing to achieve it?
Unfortunately, very little and next to nothing were the answers to those questions. I was trying to find happiness by reaching for things that I thought were supposed to make a person happy. I watched what made other people happy, both in real life and through entertainment like television and movies. I looked at people I thought were happy and tried to reverse engineer it. I suspect this is what most of us do.
Society was my teacher, and as it turns out a pretty rotten one. From that day on I have been on a quest to become happier, and it is not an exaggeration to say I am now usually the happiest person in the room.
It’s been over 5 years now since I’ve hit rock bottom, and I would like to share my observations with you.
You cannot force happiness, it must emerge Continue reading