Remove the ego and the desire
I am at one of those weird cross roads in life. Between discussing it mentally, and with a few close friends, we’ve tossed around a few reasons. Moving towards a mid-life crisis? No. Moving house and suddenly finding all those boxes with things you have done, things you haven’t done, things you wish you had done differently, and things you feel like you *must do NOW* to validate yourself? No. Watching your father tumble into Alzheimers? No. Feeling confused and frustrated about what you want to do next? No. (Ok, maybe.)
Work. Sure, that could be it. I love the field I work in, but not the way the field works, if that makes sense. Love it. I am not the sharpest pencil in the case by far, but at times I feel like it gets overcomplicated, and if everyone pulled it back to the basics, and laid that stuff down in, oh, a plan, brilliant things could happen. But I am one person, and tilting at windmills isn’t a living.
Life. The rest of it. But since Medium is not for writing ‘War and Peace’ like epics, let’s just all agree that there is a great deal of work that can be done there. In the meantime, please send wine, as I am sure that will help me focus on that stuff. In the meantime, I will continue to play ‘whack a mole’ in that area.
I have kept circling back to this idea that I would have found my ‘happy’ by now. Which is ridiculous. I didn’t even like Disney films or stories when I was little. I like books with a twist, people with a story, and drinks with an edge. I like sweet and salty. Happy would be too ‘blah’ for me. I didn’t even like Disneyworld when I went when I was 12 — prime Disney-loving years.
Last week in the middle of having one of those lovely, perfect moments, I was suddenly struck by something. You can’t find happy. By seeking it out, and trying to set up a life based on it, you are setting yourself up to fail. Happy just happens. Duh. Massive duh moment.
If you think back to the last time you were having a good time — work, with friends, on your own — it really doesn’t matter with whom, or where — chances are you didn’t go out or weren’t doing what you were in the middle of with the express purpose of BEING happy. You may have realised at some point you were, or you might not have realised it until afterward. I tend to have some of those moments when no one is home, and a song I love comes on, and I just blast that and SING IT OUT (never underestimate the power of a good sing it out moment. Truly. And if you haven’t tried it, I suggest you do ASAP.)
It could be the constant stimuli we are all assaulted by, it could be the ever prevalent feeling that the next person has it better than you, but happiness happens when you aren’t thinking about it. When you allow yourself to be in the moment. When instead of looking ahead, you give in to the now.
I love to analyse — it is part of my job, analytics, data, interpretation. But dragging that into your personal life gets dangerous. I think psychiatrists like to call it catastrophising. Over analysing. Over thinking. Taking scenarios to silly extremes. The opposite is what gets you closer to your happy — don’t think too much. Read a book, listen to music, see friends; let your mind wander. Stop looking for better answers to things you already have answers to. Your brain is magical; if there is a better answer, it will bring it to you, when and if you need it. If you fatigue it to death by running incessant ‘what if’ scenarios, you will never be happy. But you will be mentally exhausted.
So since I am not over analysing, I’ll just leave you with this lovely wrapped with a bow thought:
A man said to Lord Buddha: “I want happiness.” Lord Buddha said: “First remove the ‘I’, that’s ego. Then remove ‘want,’ that’s desire. See, now you are only left with happiness.”
Just sigh, release, and let it go. Want you want is under your nose, you just need to recognise it. And then sing that shite out.
Kristine is Anglo-American; Brooklynite by birth, living back in England for yonks who resides in digital land. Loves talking about innovation, wine, funny, clever women and her need for sleep. Ecomm/retail geek. Sports mad. Wants to be in Cornwall, and in her next career, an F1 driver or Serena Williams. In my ideal world, I’d be working for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1. Loves feedback, so drop me a firstname.lastname@example.org