I took an online survey yesterday via Elle Canada which is looking at how ‘happy’ women are today. Interestingly enough, I found it difficult to answer some of the questions with ease – my life is in a good place, of course, but what really defines happiness?
Coincidentally, as I listened to a radio program on CBC, also on yesterday, the discussion seemed to offer a bit of an explanation as to why I sometimes question happiness for myself. There is a lot of research being done looking at whether people are genetically predisposed for levels of happiness. Some believe that if an individual tries to change up their life, with motivational exercises, happiness training, if you will, they eventually come back to their regular normal level of happiness. I sometimes find that for myself; I may be content for a bit, but there is an underlying niggling that there is something more, that there is another level of happy that needs to be attained.
I remember as far back as being six years old, I would sometimes contemplate how My life might be happier, if things were just a little bit different. Six! I had a happy childhood, but I could always sense, perhaps through my father’s quiet, sometimes brooding manner, that he was rather a half empty kind of guy. My mother, on the other hand, to this day, is the most optimistic person I know. At almost 80, there’s nothing she won’t try, and no situation that she can’t deal with, with positivity – sometimes brash, but always positively.
Me, I’m somewhere in between and moving toward more half-full as I get older. I follow Shawn Achor, try to mindful, exercise gratitude, keep positive for the kids… But does it make a difference?
I watched a movie not too long ago, Hector and the Search for Happiness , which dealt with a journey toward happiness, for a psychiatrist with an orderly life, an orderly partner, who felt the need to search worldwide for happiness. It stars the great Simon Pegg and Rosamund Pike (a fantastic performance if you consider her in Gone Girl … I digress). The film comes to a conclusion that is not particularly earth-shattering.
My take on the message? Happiness is what you make it, sometimes you have to look really hard before you find that what you are searching for, was right there in front of you all along.