I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this but most of the people in the Western world seem to go about their lives in an almost perpetual state of misery. We have machines and gadgets galore to make our lives easier, most of us have more than enough money to live comfortably and yet we are unhappy. Take a trip to less developed parts of the world and you find people growing their own food and living in shacks who are far happier and healthier than we could even imagine being.
It was actually my parents’ dog who got me thinking about this. Whilst on a long walk with my dad and said dog, I couldn’t help but wonder how it is that the dog is so happy yet I am from the same family and spend most of my time feeling so unhappy. Then it hit me, it really is about appreciating the simple things. The dog is happy because he is loved, fed, walked and gets lots of attention; he doesn’t care when his fur gets muddy as he splashes through a puddle, because it’s fun. He also doesn’t care whether my parents live in a cardboard box or a mansion, so long as they take him along for the ride. So why do I care?
I know a lot of it is about social conditioning but really, I’m an intelligent girl, I should be able to make my own decisions about what makes me happy! I’m not going to lie, new clothes and make-up do make me superficially happy and will continue to do so but I’m talking about what’s at the core. I don’t have to work any particular job just because I “should” and I don’t have to strive for an expensive car if all I want to do is travel the world. Essentially, I think that most of the Western world are unhappy because we have so much choice, we don’t know how to choose so we just do what we think other people expect us to do. What we need is to appreciate the simple things that keep us running day to day and start making decisions that make us happy to build up the layer above that.
So here’s what I propose I do…I’m going to make a list, (my bf is happy all the time and lives by lists) and really work out which of the decisions I currently live by are making me happy and which are decisions I made “just because”. Then I’m going to work out what I can do to fix those in the latter category and spend the remainder of 2012 working towards making those changes. By the end of this year, I am to be one happy soul. I’ll let you know what I come up with and if you fancy joining me, I’d love to hear what you come up with 🙂 x