… far too enormous a subject for me to broach in a single blog post but I read something the other day that struck a chord and I thought it was worth sharing here – particularly as my last blog post was bordering on the slightly unhappy, or at least the start of it.
Pondering what I wrote the other day makes me realise how unreliable my feelings are, which is something I touched on in that post. They go up and down like the Big Dipper at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which, for those of you who’ve never had the opportunity to visit the Riviera of the North, has to be one of the best fairground rides ever – or at least it was when I was 10 years old. It’s definitely worth remembering that my feelings are often like a roller coaster and if I let them control me – rather than simply acknowledging them and then letting them pass – I’ll be in for a bumpy ride.
But returning to happiness, I came across a short extract from the book The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathon Haidt that made a lot of sense to me. He talks about happiness being neither outside or inside us, but rather a combination of both. Happiness, he says, is relational.
Haidt writes: “The final version of the Happiness Hypothesis is that happiness comes from between. Happiness is not something you can find, acquire or achieve directly. You have to get the conditions right, and then wait. Some of these conditions are within you. Other conditions require relationships to things beyond you …. People need love, work, and a connection to something larger. It is worth striving to get the right relationships between yourself and others, between yourself and work, and between yourself and something larger than yourself. If you get these relationships right, a sense of purpose will emerge.”