Welcome to Minding Your Mind, a weekly show for those looking for new thinking about old knowledge in the areas of Time, Living, Success, Health, Love, and Happiness.
In episode 6 I talked about something I have never done and have always avoided. Listen in.
Today…, I want to talk about happiness…, what is it, and how you know you are?
Hello, I am William Garcia, Philosopher and author of the book titled Now O’ Clock…Being Mindful, it Always is.
In preparing for this episode, I wanted to know what ancient philosophers thought about happiness…, and not to get too deep in the woods, as they say…, I did a brief search.
Here is what I found.
A Greek philosopher named Democritus, was the first in the western world to examine the nature of happiness. He suggested that, unlike it was previously thought…, happiness does not result from good fortune or luck. Democritus contended that happiness was a “case of the mind’, introducing a subjectivist view as to what happiness is.
Later…, Socrates, and his student, Plato were more objective. To them, happiness was…, a secure enjoyment of what is good and beautiful. Plato developed the idea that the best life is one whereby a person is either pursuing pleasure of exercising intellectual virtues.
Aristotle disagreed… His view was that the function of man is to live a certain kind of life…, living in a way that implies a rational principle, and that the function of a good man is the good and noble performance of these…, and if done well and with excellence, then happiness turns out to be an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue.
Did you know any of this? I didn’t…, and I’m still not sure what it all means? But did I need to know? I don’t think so. I was already experiencing what I believe to be happiness, for decades now. Should I feel like I had it wrong all this time or that I missed out on something? I don’t think so either.
When I was a child…, and I’m sure you had at least a similar experience, I was thought of by my parents as being a happy child. I was hugged and kissed…, sometimes too much, and told that I was loved. I did a lot of playing and laughing and eating candy. I was happy without knowing what ancient philosophers thought.
I don’t think my parents knew either and they seemed happy to me. We were doing some of the same things…, laughing, singing, dancing, fooling around, hugging, and kissing each other. We were all “being” happy. Besides…, I don’t recall ever asking myself if was being happy doing all these things… Do you?
How do we know, we don’t know? At first…, I allowed this thought to make me doubt what I thought I knew happiness is…, and before I wrote the script for this episode…, I didn’t know what ancient philosophers thought happiness is either. Even today…, they are considered fathers of Thought. So…, who should I believe? My own feeling of happiness, of course.
But no… If I were to live in doubt about how I felt, I may as well erase any memory of me being happy…, starting from childhood.
Well…, that hasn’t, and will not happen.
But that was then…, ancient times and ancient people with ancient thoughts and ancient knowledge. Still…, don’t get me wrong. There is value in old knowledge, and we should appreciate it as fundamental for the evolution of new thinking, for a new time.
Imagine…, most of us have been experiencing happiness for decades now. In fact, we could be considered experts at it…, right?… Why not?
They say you must have been doing something for ten thousand hours or ten years to be considered an expert. That being the case, there are many, many ten-year-old experts running around. You and I were one of them.
Ok… I may be oversimplifying here. Still…, treat the idea as mind food. We eat all kinds of things…, don’t we?
Emotional experiences are real and intimately personal. I can’t experience it for you… You can’t experience it for me. The good thing though, is that we can share it, and that’s good for the world.
Then are those to whom I say…, you can’t be happy, and a jerk at the same time. It doesn’t work like that. There is no such thing as a happy jerk. So…, be nice. Set yourself on a path to possess the attributes of a happy person.
Anyway…, fast forward to now, the most and only important time there is.
Are you happy?… I hope you are. The world needs more happy people. Happy people are positive, more likely to be helpful, kind, nonjudgmental, good friends, successful, healthy, and grateful. You know you are happy when these attributes describe you.
However, if you’re not happy, it’s Ok…, really.
In this moment, I am not happy. I don’t feel happy. But I don’t feel sad either.
If you want to know…, I’m good enough for now, and I imagine many of you feel as I do. It’s just that maybe you call it, feeling OK…, and that’s OK.
Still, being OK or good enough for now, and not being happy in the true sense of the word, is a good place to be for now. If you are happy, that’s wonderful. Enjoy it and share your happy self. It could be pleasantly contagious.
A quote titled, A BETTER YOU
“All in all, Life is about becoming a better “You”, living a better and happier Life, Being a better “You”.
The reality, however,…, is that more often than not, we are OK, and perhaps only one moment, one experience away from “being” happy.
Good news…, especially unexpected, good news, can turn a frown into a smile or a smile into laughing out loud or crying with joy.
Of course…, there is so much else that can make you happy in any moment.
Even so…, I don’t know anyone who is happy all the time. I’ve never felt happy for prolonged periods of time and…, I think that is normal.
The human experience runs the scale of emotions; from sad to happy, from angry to easy and everything in between. They make up what we think of as the human condition to date.
I say, to date, because there will always be more that we don’t know, than we know. Because the human condition is invariably complex, and ever evolving.
The frontier of new knowledge will always be a frontier of new knowledge simply because there will always be something new to be learned.
It includes new thinking about old knowledge. It is why, to me…, being good enough for now as I live my entire life, is a good life for now.
Unfortunately…, the experiences that bring us happiness are fleeting and, sometimes simultaneously celebrated with some degree of anxiety about how long the feeling will last and…, what is next.
This may be attributable to living during an era when we are constantly distracted and trying to keep up with the ever-increasing pace of a modern life.
Being under this stress, we are challenged to being mindful enough to slow down…, pursue and really enjoy experiences that makes us feel “being” happy. You know what they are. You know what makes you feel happy. Choose to indulge yourself more often and in different ways.
Listen…, I realize there are those who live with psychological challenges, and it may not be so simple. If this, is you, at least think about it and, at some point, when you’re ready, dare to try, dare to be happy?
Think about it this way. If you agree that life last but an instant…, and I hope that by now you do…, and if right now you are good or ok…, that is a good place to be.
Most everyone is usually in the same place you are, most of the time.
I’m here with you and good enough for now…; the only time that matters. Keep this in mind.
For those who were left behind by a modern era, or those who choose not to try to keep up…, daily life is likely to be less stressful. Letting go, often, let good things come. Every day, expect that they will…, and if they don’t and nothing bad happens…, think of it as a day living-along and minding your mind…; a day in your life when you were Ok or good enough.
A quote titled, A GOOD DAY
“Gratitude says: When we live with the daily expectation that something good is going to happen, and nothing bad happened that day, it was a good day. If something good happened, it was a great day. The reality is that most of our days are good days”.
There is a saying that goes: Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. In living…, don’t let a great day be the enemy of a good day that can, in any moment, become a great day.
I repeat…, in life, do not let a great day be the enemy of a good day that can, in any moment, become a great day.
Regardless…, “being” happy is still “being” happy while we are feeling happy… Don’t think about it.
If you want to…, just “notice “and enjoy what you are feeling and sensing in the moment…, the only occasion of your life.
In other words, in any moment in time…, you are living your entire life. So, when you are feeling happy…, then yours is a happy life.
The truth is, your happiness belongs to you, and only you can experience it exactly the way you do. Only you can be happier than the last time you felt happy. Only your sense of it all matters, not mine or anyone else’s. No two people experience happiness the same way or for the same reasons.
Fortunately…, most of us have similar references and perspectives with respect to life and living. They allow us to be able to share and appreciate what we feel without a care for what happiness means…, and that is a beautiful thing.
Here is a story I want to tell you. It is the story that moved me to talk about today’s topic.
It made me realize that there are things I know and understand without consciously thinking about them. This is a story about happiness.
I used to be an avid golfer and, for years, my friends and I would golf at least once a week…, most of the time at the same golf course.
In golf lingo, Charlie, Pedro, Edgar, and I were a “foursome”. It seemed we were all in the same stream of consciousness about golfing… We loved it!
Just the phone calls with each other about what time was Tee time, the time we would start, and on which golf course, were filled with excitement and anticipation. We would be fired up.
We were similarly competitive and had handicaps ranging from 11 to 14. In other words, we usually scored under 90.
To put this into perspective…, only two percent of golfers are that proficient. In other words, we were good…, and in golf, the better you played, the more you enjoyed the game.
Getting together to golf was a ton of fun; the trash talking, horsing around and, of course, the wagering. Anyone of us could win a round on any given day. But the target was usually on my back.
The Fontainebleau Golf Course no longer exists. But, at the time, there was a trailer park bordering the west course and right next to the Tee box of the 13th hole, there was a trailer.
If you know Golf, you know that silence is the Golden Rule when addressing the ball to take your shot. However, that rule did not apply to the folks in the trailer home.
There was usually loud music, talking, laughing, and dancing. It seemed there was always a party going on.
The first time we encountered these folks we were bothered by all the commotion, and would stare them down. But they did not know the Golden Rule, nor did they appear to be interested in what we were doing. They were busy celebrating life, having fun and “being” HAPPY!
Consequently, we were forced to focus on blocking out the distraction and continue to play. Eventually, we learned how to, and became better and happier golfers.
You see, golfing requires a consistently high level of concentration.
Anyway…, there we were…, engaged in what many consider to be an elitist sport while the trailer home folks were engaged in celebrating the simplicity of the life they knew. They were being happy. We were being happy. Neither were happier than the other.
The same is true about the man lying on the deck of his yacht sipping on a Mimosa somewhere in the Caribbean and the Yanomamo hunter in the Amazon rainforest sitting around a fire with his family and eating a Tapir he killed that day.
They both are living the experience of a true emotion of happiness in their own way and in their own circumstance. Neither is happier than the other.
So…, who is happier? Not me…, not you. No one is. I am only as happy as I am in the moment I am being happy. I can only be happier than the last time I felt happy.
Either way, when I am feeling happy, I am mindful to simply “be” happy as I am and as everything and everyone is, without judging.
However, during these times when we have gone beyond “Hurry up and wait”, to “Hurry up and…, what are you waiting for?”. I suggest we “slow down and taste Life…, one sip at a time”.
Incredibly…, by doing so, the happy moments will seem to last longer. Steal a moment now and then, to simply “notice”. You will be happy you did.
It’s Now O’ Clock, time to be happy.
In episode 8, I will talk about how numbers are used to categorize our lives, the myth that is Time management and the real value in managing our life energy. It’s time for a shift in perspective.
Get a jump start. Stop by my website, nowoclock.live. There you will find more original, positive, inspirational and thought-provoking content you can mind your mind with. Share what you find there and spread any idea you agree is worth spreading. There is something there as there was here, for almost everyone. I hope there was for you.