Sunday, May 30, 2010

What Are You Excited About? The Key to Happiness

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This is a slightly different theme to my usual Blogs and a little less tongue in cheek. One of the most baffling contradictions I see in life is the prevalence of unhappy joyless people surrounded by an environment of milk and honey and more choices to do, have and experience than ever in the history of the world. Are we pre- programmed to be cynical or just blind to the 'miracle' of existence, or is it a mal-adjustment of our perspective lens? You be the judge

Excitement, anticipation, aspiration or however you want to label the charge that gets you up in the morning is probably almost completely aligned with you happiness quotient.

Some of the most cranky, uninspiring people I’ve ever crossed paths with have invariably shared a couple of personality traits. One is ambivalence, that devil may care attitude, that on the surface presents as cool and unruffled, but upon closer examination manifests its true essence, that of disenchantment.

A second trait shared by these joyless poor souls is a lack of empathy. Perhaps this is not a trait, but certainly a common denominator. An inability to care about another individual is as big a barrier to communication and rapport development as you can get. 

I suspect the latter affliction is genetic, but the former, that air of boredom is a learned handicap and often a precursor to depression.

It’s hard to be bored, ambivalent or dare I say depressed when you’re excited. So what’s exciting you right now? What are you aspiring to? When was the last time you rekindled those childhood feelings of Christmas Eve, awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus?

Alas for many, those feelings have remained lost in the memories of childhood.

Some reasons to be excited: 

• Start or end of a relationship!
• Starting a family.
• Moving in to a new career or business venture.
• Training for a marathon or triathlon.
• Building a house, or writing a book.
• Losing 15 kilos.
• Connecting with lost family or friends.
• Learning a new language or pursuing an adult education program.

There are an infinite number of inspiring projects that we can focus on and yet for many, there is another route taken. This route is that of expedience. Expedience is the trade off of a quick fix that is tension relieving rather than goal achieving. 

An hour at the casino can seem temporarily exciting and fruitful, whilst simultaneously seducing us into believing there is any substance or foundations beyond the momentary thrill. A snort of C or a shot of H can have a similar effect. Short-term gain, life time misery.

Excitement is rarely something that happens to us. Rather it is an outcome of pre-planned intentions. Waiting to win Lotto or bump in to good fortune will produce a very predictable outcome, that of disillusionment and frustration. 

Setting unrealistic goals however creates a new energy. New ventures become adventures and lead to destinations often unpredicted. Limitations become less clear and reasons to be cheerful emerge.

We have a choice. We can focus on the countless reasons to justify our misery, and I’m sure they literally are immeasurable. Or we can choose to focus on new horizons and possibilities, which are equally infinite. Yes I’ve spotted the paradox-but you know what I mean.

If you can find just a half a dozen reasons to be genuinely excited and focus your attention almost exclusively on this for the next 21 days, your energy, enthusiasm and happiness will change utterly.

Hoping this finds you with a compelling reason to get out from under the covers-Cheers Kiaran - all comments appreciated-

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