Sometimes it seems like we’ve got it all; either a job that would make any of our high school classmates jealous, or the freedom to do whatever we want, or maybe even the two combined. However, nothing is necessarily what it seems, and no matter how perfect situation you seemingly are enjoying yourself in, it doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. Maybe nothing seems like it's perfect. Maybe you wake up every day wanting to sleep all day, and not doing any of the things you do in your daily life, or doing anything at all. 

 

The human mind has a funny skill of finding problems and things that are “wrong” (or "shit"). Even when nothing is wrong, we start thinking that things are “too good” and that something will be wrong soon, that all of our happiness will be taken away from us and we are left with misery and despair. This worrying then leads on to us not being happy anymore, because our mind is filled with 'what if’s and 'then what’s. 

Lesson number one, which can be found in most likely any self-help book available, is that happiness comes from within. In theory, this could then mean that we can force ourselves to be happy, if we just choose so, right? Sounds too easy to be true, and it probably is. Forcing happiness is counter-intuitive and probably destructive, but recognizing happiness is a much easier way of cultivating the happy mindset within you, or at least getting rid of the "everything-is-shit" mindset if only just a little bit. Even if the happiness, or lack of anxiety/depression/worry/insert negative emotion here lasts only for a minute, catching that feeling is like catching Pokemons. Sure enough, with just one Pokemon you can’t really go to a battle, but if you keep walking around, you bump into all kinds of different Pokemons and are probably able to catch quite a few of them. After a while, these Pokemons then become your friends and you can rely on them. (Although nobody actually plays Pokemon anymore, right?)

Good starting point for realizing that things are ‘ok’ or at least ‘not completely shit’ is to find those moments when you don’t feel like crap. Got a delicious burger when you were hungry? Probably not a crap moment when you smelled the burger, just before you had your first bite. Saw the sky turn orange and flaming red at sunset? Probably not too crappy moment either, if you got out of your head to realize the beauty of it. Saw a football game with friends? Even if your team lost, you spent time with people, so not too shitty. As cliché as it is, it’s the little things that count, it’s the water drops that make the rivers and the roaring waterfalls. If you keep finding feelings that are void of the negative, you are already winning. 

 

The more you notice the moments when everything is either not shit, not too bad, ok, or possibly even pretty awesome, the more happiness you cultivate. While these words might seem like some privileged hoo-haa coming from someone who's never had things shit in their life, well...maybe you're right. I've never had to live through war or famine or genocide. So things are pretty good if you really think about it. And the shit that I have been through, well, I ended up wanting to see the lessons and the good in it all, instead of becoming a victim and bitter by the things that have shaped me into where I am today. The only thing we can control in this world is out mind. It's worth trying our best to use it to our advantage. 

 

PS: I am not an advocate of false positivity and rainbows and sunshine and unicorns all day every day. It is totally fine and ok to have everything-is-shit feelings once and again. The key is to be able to get past that. Sometimes life feels like shit and everything is not working out the way you had hoped for, but then it gets better again. Eventually it gets better again, and in the best case you can look back and see it all from a different perpsective. And that, my friend, is the beauty of life. 


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