Happy Lunar New Year is Stupid?

Today was supposed to be Happy Lunar New Year. So people set happiness goals. At least the people I came across today on TV… I think that’s dumb.

Most of the families in this country keep the complicated traditions simple as far as I know. Some don’t go to their parents’ and enjoy their time off from work. They skip some traditions and rituals. Even if they decide to do those, they simplify.

That doesn’t happen in our family. My family is very traditional, conservative, and above all old-school.

We cherish the traditions. We keep things the way it was back in the day. We are old-school. We tried to do most of the rituals that great, great grandpas and grandmas used to do.

And my grandpa, grandma, mom, dad, literally every single one of them is the very first sons and daughters in their own families. Every uncle, aunt and their kids come over to my parent’s to do traditional stuff all together.

No matter how much traditional we are on reunions, we have TVs, iPhones, Wifi connections, and Facebook.

Adults ask me where the remote control is as soon as they shake my hands. And they gather in front of a TV, around the table, with bottles of booze ready to drink all night. And they start talking about money and politics. They always get to the conclusion that health for us and our families matters the most over anything. Everything is done on that note.

My elementary schooler cousins from the country side demand the Wifi password without saying hello to me. Pokemon Go was released in Korea the other day. They had heard somewhere that they could find out some elusive and special pokemons in Seoul. They kept bugging me to take them to places to catch those.

Teenaged girls don’t want to talk to me at all. And all they do is facebooking, and instagramming. And a little bit of squabbling over their favorite boy groups with each other.

I am not part of any groups. I’ve been this way for some years. Maybe since I was 18 or 19? I used to spend time with the teenaged girls when they were not hip and edgy enough to play with me. As soon as they became the women with the curvier bodies, they ditched me. And my uncles and aunts still think I am too young to talk money and politics with them over bottles of alcohol. That’s good news, actually. I don’t want to be forced to chug glasses and glasses of alcohol.

“Playing” with the 2 young babies has been my default option. I am the greatest for them. I have a smartphone, laptop, and let them play games on them unlike their moms. And my corny jokes work great on them. But this has changed because of the Pokemon Go release. They just wanted me to be their tour guide to walk them to the places where there are good pokemons that they couldn’t find in their neighborhoods.

So I chose to join the adult group. Pretty much all we talked about was the impeachment of the President and how corrupt our government was. It’s not just the subject matter of our conversations. It’s the it-thing all over the TV channels.

FYI, Only the oldest guy can flip through the channels at his will. He stopped at the channel where a democratic personality hosts the talk show with an audience. That’s what we saw that night.

The talk show host asked the audience to write down the goal that they want to achieve in 2017 and put that up in the air. Legions of people wrote that happiness is their goal. And the host picked one girl who wrote happiness as a goal and briefly interviewed.

There was nothing special about that TV show. But I wondered how many of the same people who said they wanted happiness had said the same thing a year, 2, or 3 years ago. And probably they will do it again the next year I guess.

Trying to achieve happiness as a goal never works, EVER. Truth doesn’t change even if the people do it on a yearly basis. Setting the happiness goal is the stupid thing to do.

The second you set a goal to be in the state of emotion that you want to be as often, and as long as possible, you start to constantly gauge where you are at on a happiness scale of 1 to 10. Happiness is a relative concept. There’s a strong body of scientific evidence that people who have gone through the tragic events feel happier in general afterwards. It’s because, for them, the problems they have are petty compared to the events they’ve experienced before. Happiness and comparison in any form cannot coexist. We never reach the 10 mark on a happiness scale in the comparison game.

So here’s my alternative to the stupid happiness goal setting: Just never set a goal to be happy. Happiness is something that is within and manifests itself when we do the right things during the day.

These are the “right” things that draw out the happiness naturally for me.

Self-care is important. Sleep well and early. Eating clean and green matters. I have to break a sweat either by running or by doing simple bodyweight push-ups.

Doing the work is crucial. I have to feel a little tired and satisfied at the same time at the end of the day that I’ve done something creative that day. There is something crossing off a few important to-do’s does to my level of happiness.

Having fun with my loved ones is literally a medicine for me. When my girlfriend speaks and acts extra cuter on the phone, that makes my day. When I talk stupid stuff for 10 minutes with my homies over the phone, life is fun.

When we take care of our body, keep the creativity flowing, and enjoy the time with the people that we like, happiness just washes over us. Don’t set a happiness goal and instead, do the right things so that the happy virus can spread across our bodies naturally.

If you liked it, please hit that heart button below so that the people around you can do the right things than the stupid!