Emotions are a matter perspective. Rich people can be miserable, poor people can be happy, single people can be fulfilled, and married couples can be lonely. The most prepared amongst us can feel nervous, and the least prepared can feel confident. The situations we find orselves in provide cues to our brains, but our internal interpretation of those cues is the actual spark that creates emotion.
Happines is particularly interesting to me because I think that although just about everyone has the potential to be happy all the time, very few people actually are. I meet peoople who I think are content or entertained or stimulated, but relatively few who appear to be genuinely happy people.
I forget if it was in high school or college, but at some point I decided that I would always be happy. Not that I would pretend to act happy no matter the situation, but that I would actually be happy all the time. It worked. There are certainly various levels of happiness that I experience throughout my life, but you could find me on my roughest days and still find me happy.
My method for always being happy is so simple that most people reading this will probably excuse it as an ineffective new-age mindgame. But it's not-- it's powerful enough that it has quite literally extinguished any unhappiness from my life. The key is to put things in perspective.
Take this morning, when I happened to notice the floor tiles of the airport. I don't really like these tiles, I thought. My next immediate thought was: how amazing is it that I get to have an opinion on floor tiles? I couldn't help but smile and be filled with happiness at the thought. Life exists. I get to experience it. We've molded the earth's resources so precisely to our needs, that thousands of types of floor tiles exist. I have a level of consciousness that lets me not only form thoughts, but also form opinions and affinities, even for things lie floor tiles. It's crazy.
I shouldn't be alive. You shouldn't be alive. With an infinite universe, it's not so unfathomable that life would exist, but the odds of us enjoying it are so close to zero that in any other context, we could use tho word 'impossible' as shorthand. Think of the millions of generations of not just humans, but our ancestors, that had to stay alive long enough to mate. It's ridiculous.
And that just covers living, which all species enjoy. It doesn't take into account the incredible brains we have, or the improvements we've made to society, which have made our lives unreasonably pleasant. Right now I'm in an airplane moving several times faster than a human could move if he jumped off a large cliff. It's comfortable. Someone comes and brings me water once in a while. We shouldn't be here. We shouldn't have this. It is too good.
So when something bad happens to me, I remember all that. If someone steals money from me, I think about how fortunate I am to even be in the position to have money to be stolen, not to mention to be a human being and thus be capable of understanding the concept of loaning money. If I lost a leg, I'd be happy to be alive, to have another leg, and to have experienced what it's like to have two legs. When people I know die, I think about how lucky they were to live, how lucky I was to know them, how lucky I am to have other friends and family members who are alive, and how lucky I am to be alive myself.
The point is that the scale of all the good things in ANY of our lives is so great that whatever misfortunes we may experience are nothing more than minor annoyances in comparison. Life is good. Not necessarily every component of it, but to say it's anything but good is like saying the ocean is brown because there are a couple wooden ships in it.
RV Update / Video coming very soon. Spent 15 hours painting yesterday and I'm finishing up today.