Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Change Your Reality

For most people, being unhappy is a choice.

Ok, ok - before you start yelling at me, let me explain.

Of course no one enjoys being unhappy. So why would anybody choose to be miserable? Well, it’s not that they choose to be that way, it’s that they choose to wallow in a state of despair rather than change the reality of everything around them. It's easy to feel sorry for yourself.

Obviously there are severe instances, such as great tragedies or mental conditions that may affect one’s ability to make themselves happy, however most of us have the power to be happy 99 percent of the time.

I’m almost always in some state of general happiness. Sure I get pissed off and annoyed from time to time, but that’s only a fleeting emotion and doesn’t affect my general state of well being. I was never really sure how to describe the way that I make myself feel positive all the time until my friend Frederico started expounding on Quantum Physics lessons he’d recently been reading about.

He mentioned that one of the ways that he battled out of his Post-Raul-Disaster Depression, was by changing the reality of things around him – or more accurately, changing his perceived reality.

Now I really don’t know much about quantum physics, so my explanation of changing your reality is probably not the same as the “accepted definition” in quantum physics, but it works nonetheless.

If we simplify things a bit, everything around you is a figment of your perception. The leaves on the tree outside are green because you see them that way. If you were color blind and those leaves appeared blue, then for all intensive purposes, they would be blue because in your reality, that’s what they are.

Similarly, if you see an absolutely slammin hot chick walking towards you, and you elbow your buddy to take a look to which he replies, “Meh, she’s alright,” that doesn’t change the way she looks. Maybe she’s not his type, and in his reality, she’s not attractive. But in your world, this girl looks the same regardless of anybody else’s perception. Every guy in the world will have a slightly different perception of her.

So what does this have to do with happiness?

A lot of people let trivial problems get in the way of happiness. But, when you reframe the problem into a learning experience, a blessing, or a non-issue, it becomes exactly what it is: trivial.

Right now I’m sitting in the airport in Maui, waiting for my Mom to arrive. I had expected to get here after she did, so I saved my appetite thinking we’d be off to get a nice dinner as soon as I landed. Turns out, she’s not only getting here after me, but her flight is delayed. When all is said and done, I’ll end up being here probably three hours waiting. To boot, the airport isn’t exactly a bustle of activity. On the outside of security, the only food is at a Starbucks, there are no TV’s, so I’m missing March Madness College Basketball, and there’s nothing within walking distance. There’s not even the token airport bookstore.

I finished the book I brought on the plane so I have no reading material (brilliant planning Arun), and there is no wireless internet connection available. I have a reason to be a little bummed out don’t I?

Of course not!

A lot of people would let this compounding of annoyances affect their mood, but I’ve instead thought about how lucky I am. I GET to go to Hawaii. My posting has been sparse, and had I not had this break in the airport, there probably would have been no post this week. In fact, just writing this blog right now makes me feel overwhelming happiness for everything happening!

Let’s pretend I didn’t have my laptop though. Then what would I do?!? Welp, I’d probably listen to my ipod and walk laps around the parking lot for exercise.

Yesterday, it looked like my Mom wouldn’t be able to make it to Hawaii for a couple of days because there’s a volcano erupting in Alaska that’s canceling a lot of flights. She was so nervous that I’d be upset about having to figure out the rental car and condo situation that she had booked plus having to hang out by myself for a few days.

She was relieved and somewhat surprised when I was unreactive. Sure it wouldn’t have been ideal, but I would make the situation fun. There are far too many things to enjoy and be grateful for, for me to waste my time stressing out or being unhappy.

When you have a job that stresses you out, you can either waste time being unhappy, or you can take this as a building opportunity. A lot of us let our job take over our LIVES. You come home and spend the evening being unhappy about the day and stressed out about having to go back the next. This is your chance to learn what you really want to do. Maybe you can take this opportunity to learn a new skill, trade, or research a new investment.

Working 40 hours a week for the rest of my life, and having to “bank” up vacation just to travel is certainly not my ideal future. Something like this could tempt me to unhappiness. So now I’m taking every opportunity to do something about it. I’m creating other sources of income, and studying to delve into something else.

If I got laid off, I would take it as an opportunity to learn something new or travel with the new found time.

My reality is what I make it and my reaction to my environment is totally up to me.

Once you realize that 90% of your happiness is up to you, you’ll be happy 99% of the time!

1 comment:

Starsailor said...

Awesome post man, very well articulated.