And other lessons I learned as I became happy
I spent a good five years intensely searching for something I already had- happiness. Like looking for your glasses when they are on top of your head, happiness is always right there. Sometimes you just can’t see it.
Happiness comes from being comfortable, really comfortable (like you are in your favorite pair of threadbare jeans), with all aspects of who you are. The likable parts, the not so likeable parts and everything in-between.
This explains why people who have the appearance of having everything can be so messed up- think America’s first family, the Kardashians. They have the cars, the houses, the bods and the cash. You would think they would be able to be happy. Have you seen their show? There’s a definite lack of stable positive emotion! That’s because all the stuff they have is like the whipped cream on a sundae. But for a sundae to be great, the house, the bod, the cars and the clothes need to be the ice cream. In their case it’s more like really great airbrushing. Their whipped cream hides the shitstorm of crazy that’s happening underneath. You can’t put whipped cream on shit.
So how do we get rid of all the crap and channel a scoop of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla?
The science behind happiness shows us genetics accounts for about 40% of overall happiness. In my personal case, women in my family are quite happy but most of them have had panic attacks or anxiety at some point in their lives. So out of 40 potential points I might have started around 27. A mediocre priced value ice cream, definitely not Haagan Daas.
10% are the circumstances in our lives. I am super fortunate. I live in a safe place. I have enough food, safety and shelter and all the basic foundations that Maslow’s triangle would plant at the bottom of the scale. I get a 10%.
50% is entirely up to each individual based on how resilient they are, how open minded they are and how much positivity they embrace. Having spent much of the last 15 years studying this aspect of happiness I feel pretty confident in saying that I rock this category. I’ll be so bold as to give myself 50 out of a possible 50 points. I’m eating organic homemade vanilla made from cows who were hugged daily.
I wasn’t always a 50. I am grateful to the teachers, the friends and the mentors in my life who saw through my particularly masterful application of whipped cream. They saw all the shit I was trying to hide and they saw a glimmer of happiness, of light and of my true self. Even when I couldn’t see it myself, they were there seeing me.
Everything else I add to the mix is sprinkles and cherries.
Take a little time as we head into this holiday season to think about the quality of your Sundae. Is it a gourmet delight or a big pile of whipped cream and sprinkles?
Wanna improve your flavor of ice cream? Start with the foundation.
If you already have a great Sundae, I’d love to hear your recipe. Leave a comment or reply. Sharing ice cream recipes is a great way to inspire someone else.