It's not always about being funny.

Find your happy

You need to find your happy. This isn’t new information. It’s been written about by bloggers, experts, psychiatrists, and friends, but I think it’s something that needs to be repeated.

Happiness can come from many sources, and I can only speak for myself, but the healthiest and best types of happiness come from within. It comes from a sense of inner strength, self-worth, and satisfaction with your actions.

Happiness cannot be forced. You can’t lie to yourself about your happiness. When you’re not happy, people can tell. Your children, your spouse/significant other, your friends, your family. They might want to help, to offer support, but ultimately, the only person responsible for your happiness is you, and only if it’s genuine will it be evident to both you and the world.

Happiness is not the same as optimism. I used to think that I was happy because I never got angry. If my car got scratched, I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “Oh well, it’s just a car”. If an order I placed was late or screwed up, I was always firm yet courteous with the company. I never raised my voice to a customer service representative when I knew that he was just doing his job. But this wasn’t me being happy. This was me not letting the bastards get me down.

Happiness is not contentment. I would swear up and down that I was happy because “things were great”. I had a good life, with nice things, and many satisfying aspects. I never complained or even felt like I had complaints that I wasn’t voicing. Yet, I still wasn’t happy. I was comfortable.

Happiness can require change. I used to abhor change. It was something to fear and avoid at all costs. But it can take an upheaval before that happiness can be found. It took two years of change for me, starting with losing almost 150 pounds and culminating in my divorce and newly single life before I finally started to see happiness peeking at me around corners and under rocks.

Happiness makes you a better person. Regardless of how many responsibilities you have, whether it’s owning a business or running a family, when you’re happy and in a good place, you will be better capable of taking care of those responsibilities. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of the other needs in your life.

Happiness is always possible. You may think that you have to hurt someone to be happy, but the truth is that you may be hurting them with your unhappiness already. You might think that you’re being selfish, but you’re not. You’re doing what you NEED to do. Regardless of how difficult it may seem or how many obstacles may appear to be in your path, you always have the chance at being happy.

I’m not completely there yet, but now I’m more acutely aware of the things in my life that are keeping me from being totally happy. (Speaking of which, anyone out there want to buy a highly profitable growing consulting company for about $5-10 million?) I know I’m going to find my happy, and I hope you can find yours.

Finding My Happy

Next up on my to-do list: How to understand the concept of “liking yourself”.

73 thoughts on “Find your happy”

  1. I see it, Adam. It’s over there… yeah. Right there. Don’t worry, you’ll get it. I have faith.

    PS May we call you Adam? If not, I will make sure it doesn’t appear here again. It’s just that, you sign your drawings “AHA” and we all know what it means, and it’s so much more personable to say that first name (not to mention it’s got fewer syllables.) You know that movie where Mike Myers is all, “She put the wrong emPHAsis on the wrong syllABLE?” That’s why I can’t use the word syllable anymore when I speak, because now I say it wrong. Thankx, Mike.

  2. I’m really glad you’re finding your happy! Liking yourself, for me, means liking who you are and the way you behave. I think about how I would feel if someone else just did what I did – would I like that person? It has taken me a long time, but I’ve made some changes so that, for the most part, I can answer “yes” to that question.

    1. @Lisa, I don’t even understand the question about liking myself. In a vacuum, how can you like yourself (or dislike yourself) without seeing that reflection of yourself in others? I totally stumped my therapist with that one.

      1. @Avitable, Do you need to like yourself in a vacuum? I think at that point you just are. As social creatures, we use the way other people react to us as a yardstick for our self-image. They give us our cues for right and wrong. I’m not saying liking yourself should be based on what other people think of you, but I think we form our ideas of a “good person” by observation of the behavior of others, and what we have been taught. You can’t get that in a vacuum.

  3. Nice post. I agree with most of it, but I’d like to add one:

    Happiness cannot be found. I used to be the biggest believer of “finding your happy” and it turns out you can’t find it.

    Happiness is not a thing or feeling at all, rather, a constant state of being which needs to be created then nourished; a cultivation from within. It can’t be found because it was never lost or hidden and outside factors have nothing to do with the conception or birth of true happiness anyway. Even saying “I’m happy” is almost 100% of the time total bullshit … it’s not something that ever needs to be stated or proclaimed out loud or celebrated. It’s not a journey as there is no start or finish of happy.

    True happiness just is. It’s just as radiant and beautiful in pleasure as it is in pain or despair.

    And, yes, I do realize it’s just a saying, but I feel it’s extremely inaccurate for a person who might take it to heart like I did. I used the “find your happy” mantra for years and it landed me rock bottom of the shittiest shit hole ever when I finally gave up searching.

    Otherwise, I really enjoyed this post.

      1. @Avitable, I fully agree with happiness being an inside job, but I can’t get on board with the idea of hidden, lost or undiscovered “things” being a part of the state of being happy equation. Anyway, we’re probably on the same page here except you’re saying “find” you happy and I’m saying “create” your happy.

        Either way, best of luck in your searches for happiness and I’ll get back to the art of happiness.


  4. Good observations, all. I used to think I was happy…. but now I see otherwise. I’m working at it, but I know it will take time. At the moment, I am at the verge of quitting my job, not because the job itself sucks, but because of the sneaky and underhanded ways that my boss deals with the employees, and namely myself, disgusts me. I like the job I do, but the person I deal with does not make me happy. Gotta do something about that.

    PS- Is that position for chef, assistant, and ball washer still available??

  5. Excellent post!

    Most striking for me is “you may be hurting them already with your unhappiness already.” Sometimes you can get so far removed from happy that you don’t have the ability to realize how it’s affecting people around you without your even putting any effort out. You just are.

    Thanks for this. We all need the reminder!

  6. That Adam Picasso is brilliant.

    I have figured out how to be happy: I am happy when I don’t hold onto it too tightly. When I let it just wash over me and accept the moment without trying to capture it and “make it last”, then I’m happiest. THAT is hard to do. Because when you’re flying down the roller coaster with your arms outstretched, shrieking with pure joy, you don’t WANT to pull into the station.

    With that said, I am getting off of this electronic box and taking my kids to the Field Museum without stressing over what I cannot change.

    Peace out.

  7. See, I *do* think happiness is a form of contentment, because being content with what you have is half the battle of being happy. When you’re constantly striving for something else (I’m thinking in terms of material things, here) then it’s hard to appreciate what you already have. When you’re truly grateful and appreciative of what you have already, it’s easier to just relax and let things be…
    Which isn’t to say no one should ever want something better for themselves. I guess I just know too many people who think things like, “If only I had X amount of money – *then* I’d be happy”, or whatever.
    Also, I fucking love myself.
    Also, nice Avitable cubism.

  8. Truly finding happiness is a great goal. It’s one of mine. I know for a fact I’m not there yet. I believe I’m at least not terrible unhappy right now. So that’s a start.

    If you find some magical way to acquire happiness, you should sell that shit. You’d make millions.

  9. So true!! I’ll be honest, I’m not always happy. Hell I’m not always content! But I’m a whole lot happier and more content than I used to be. And progress makes me happy.

    Dude, you are selling your business? That’s amazing!!

  10. This is what I learned on my journey to happiness: I control only myself and how I choose to respond to any given situation, everything else is out of my hands. When I love and accept myself fully, even the parts that I don’t particularly like, I am happy and loving and compassionate with myself and other beings around me.

    The road to happiness is a worthwhile quest, I believe you will get there.

  11. I only recently realized the difference between happiness and optimism. Which, to be quite honest, was unfortunate because I am incredibly optimistic. But really, it was for the better.

  12. Excellent post.

    Happiness is not the same as optimism.
    Happiness is not contentment.
    Happiness can require change.
    Happiness makes you a better person.
    Happiness is always possible.

    You need to get this shit published.

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