How To Be Happy Again?

Jim Carey acted in a movie called The Truman Show. It is a show I think about when life gets rough. In many instances of my life, I felt manipulated especially going down the road most travelled. Like many people, I always seek individuality but the feeling that there could be a possible manipulation in the way I make certain decisions in life seemed to frustrate me.

My cousin shared an article with me recently that seemed to confirm the existence of a certain matrix or system that most of us are trapped in. The only consolation for me is that, I am not the only person feeling that way and there are a huge majority of people out there who feels the same.

The few blog posts that I have written recently seemed to be less positive and indeed, I am feeling a little down lately due to many reasons – changes in life mostly. I somehow fear that I will get trapped in the spiral of sadness again and the possibility that I will never again regain my foothold.

The fact that I am bombarded with so many negative news and challenges from all around can be quite overwhelming. On top of that, the world requires that I do not let my emotion show especially my weaknesses can be a daunting task. In order to conform to the standards of the world, I am left with a huge void.

I have forgotten how to be happy.

I have lost all recollection of how true joy feels like. Not remembering how happiness and joy felt like, I no longer know how to seek such feelings I once enjoy. Every day seemed to be just submitting to the demands of the world. Achievements are meaningless without happiness.

As I seek to find happiness again, I was told that expectations have a way in controlling happiness.

Just like how I have always wanted to take a photo of lighting during a rainy day, the opportunity recently present itself. I was in the meeting room with huge windows around me overlooking part of the city. The clouds were forming and I watched as a few lighting hit the ground. With my mobile phone at hand and with camera mode turned on, I waited, and waited, and waited. My expectation was that the mobile phone camera would be as fast as the speed of light. Throughout the 20 mins wait, I had a few frustrating moments missing some beautiful lightings. After a few minutes, I started feeling frustrated because up to that point, I was randomly clicking the shutter button and clearly the method was not working.

I guess changing my expectation did change my feelings. From being absolutely sure that I was going to capture a photo of a lighting taking place, I told myself that it would be fine if I did not.

I then changed my strategy. Instead of randomly clicking the shutter, I held onto it for continuous shots. A few 100 images cycle later, I finally got my shot. Not perfect but it was a shot nonetheless. It made me happy that I was able to achieve the objective – a case of under-expect and over-achieve. Just like when a customer is being under-promised but over-delivered, I was very pleased with my achievement.

I then realized that perhaps to be happy, I must expect less of myself or at least do not be so hard on myself. At the same time, I should give myself a pat on the back each time I achieve something good be it great or small.

“I hope you are happy today”

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