I started to write a post yesterday about happiness and contentment then we lost the wi-fi and I lost my draft. Those are two big subjects to cover, I don’t feel qualified to write about them but I do feel that I can adequately talk about my perspectives.
I think I’ve always considered having a ‘life’s purpose’ as something grand, one big thing and my ‘seeking’ my purpose has seemed in vain for lack of the ‘big thing’. I now realize that not all of us are part of the big picture in a grand way ~ I heard somewhere that we all seek importance; some seek fame or grand fortune, some way to “be somebody”: a published author, big-business owner, etc. I think maybe that has been in the shadow for me too; not the fame or fortune but to just be someone special somehow. I’m realizing that my purpose, like billions of others’, is to use what makes me happy, creative, content and of service to other people in the best way possible. I’m no one special, I’m not going to find a cure for a disease or write a life-changing book or achieve some awesome feat. My purpose is to live my best life and enjoy and appreciate what I have and be of service (in small ways) to others and set some goals that working toward would bring me some fulfillment and stop thinking that there is something out there especially for me.
Contentment is wanting for nothing and I’m pretty content but there are few things that I still would like ~ not need, but that I would like. I have an abundance of what I need and I have no complaints but that isn’t the same as ‘content’ – at least according to one dictionary definition. Happiness, I’ve determined, are spurts or spikes from our baseline of everyday life, if life could be a line on a graph. Happiness is a pleasure (endorphins) derived from moments that make us feel happy: river rafting, dancing, creating art, watching small children and puppies play. Those are the spikes of pleasure that we occasionally experience but it is not a constant baseline feeling for most of us.
Contentment is the baseline with increased moments of joy…that’s my goal.
My new plan is to be grateful for what I have (as is my habit) but increasing the quantity and variety of what brings on that feeling of happiness. I made a list of things that I know create that spike and the ‘challenge’, if it can really be called that :-), is to manage to consciously insert these moments into my everyday. Once this becomes a routine, I won’t have to make it happen, then I will expand the exercise to include things/people/places that I haven’t tried, for example learning to play an instrument or take up painting.
I’ve put to rest the whole “finding my purpose/passion in life”. I have ‘It’ pretty good, all things relative, right now and merely adding some perks is a pretty attainable goal. I am satisfied.
~ 10:11 a.m. Mon. 2/26/18