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Am I happy?


I’ve gotta wonder about that. Not whether I’m happy or not. Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not. It’s the same as all my other feelings and emotions. It comes and it goes. What I wonder about is the question. Whether it can really be answered. Whether I should even ask it.

Seems to me our society is constantly pushing us to ask that of ourselves, but usually with a rider. Am I happy in my job? Am I happy without a new car? Am I happy without the right clothes? Am I happy without the great taste of Burpee Cola? Am I happy if I’m not taking Big Pharma’s latest blockbuster every day for the rest of my life?

What does the answer tell you? Does it tell you if you would be happier with whatever is being sold to you? Does it tell you if you’re happy with your circumstances? Does it tell you whether you’re happy within yourself? Or does it just tell you whether you’re happy trying to work out whether you’re happy? Is it an instance of the observer effect? Does asking the question skew the answer?

There are lots of people who can train you to answer ‘yes’ to that question. Life coaches, motivational speakers, cognitive behavioral therapists, cult leaders … But have they really taught you to be happy or just to think in a certain way and label it as ‘happy’ whenever the question is asked?

No one is happy all the time. The more often you ask that question of yourself the more often the answer will be ‘no’. Unless you’ve learned to always answer it ‘yes’, whether it’s true or not. Or could the trick be to only ask the question when you’re happy?

Feelings are fleeting. If you notice yourself being happy or sad, peaceful or agitated, angry or … whatever the opposite of angry is, perhaps you should just acknowledge it and let it pass. It will. But should you be asking yourself about it all the time?

Maybe it’s better to live life than interrogate it.

From → confusion

  1. Interesting point, the presence of the question skews the answer and creates a ‘self’ where there wasn’t one before. The question creates a wanting-to-be-happy situation, when everything was maybe ok before the question arrived – now there’s a hunger, where there wasn’t one before. Best not ask it, as you say, just see how things are just ticking over from time to time…


    • Thanks for crystallizing it for me with your post passing through, tiramit.

      There had been something bugging me about asking myself about my feelings for a while and it was your post that made me start thinking on the difference between actively checking and passively noting.


  2. Anonymous permalink

    A consideration occurred to me about this some time ago. Un-happy refers to happiness as the base. It is defined like chalk on a blackboard. Happiness is the board and un-happiness is what’s written.


  3. I Am Me permalink

    I had a consideration about this some time ago. Un-happiness refers to happiness as a base, like chalk is defined by the board. Un-happiness is “written” over happiness.


    • Now that’s a thought.

      It suggests a corollary of course. I wonder what the trick to reversing background and foreground is here.

      One of my earlier posts was sort of hinting in a long winded way at what you pinned down in a two sentence simile.


  4. Woah, hello there, Socrates. ^_^
    The write was insightful though. So many questions, and no answers. That’s why mysteries are fun. And by what I stand by, being happy all the time is going to make you ‘unhappy’ someday.


    • Don’t forget the corollary I Am Me‘s comment suggests.
      Looks like you’re due a whole truckload of happiness someday VDB.


      • How can I LOL
        Ha. We’ll see when I get it. It’s like, I am more hopeful about a Nobel Prize than about being happy, you know. ^_^


  5. Good Spotty permalink

    Hello Cabrogal. It is me formerly known as I Am Me. I decided to sign up for an account and the other “handle” was occupied. I truly enjoy the playground of your words. I look forward to awe, banter and disgust as we lumber along. Any addition I attempt to offer is always presumptive of the notion I may be completely wrong and thus am requesting correction indirectly. I have not yet completed your library so, being referred back (as above) is useful.The happy/sad dichotomy, for me, applies as feedback only in the conditional realms. Intertwined, phase-synced, or what-have-you, I refer to these proverbial double-edged-swords as a homing signals. If the mattress has barbed wire coils, I won’t sleep as long.


  6. Good Spotty permalink

    Weeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll……….alright dammit, I’ll agree to these terms.


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