How to Change to Be Happy
Be happy for this moment, for this moment is your life ~ Omar Khayyam
Well tonight my friends I want to talk about what I always talk about, how to be happy. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been in a bit of a funk, and as I’ve often talked about during those times it is important to go back to the basics. Are you eating right, sleeping, exercising and do you feel safe. So as usual, I checked off the boxes and this time things really didn’t improve at all. You hope after you make a change like that you will quickly be happy again, or at least happier and in a better place.
When the basics fail it means there is something else working on your mood and for me that was true. I have something deeply personal weighing on my mind, something I’m not quite sure how to deal with, but something that shouldn’t have the impact on my mood that it is having. That also is telling, you see when things are good, and the basics are in order you have resilience. The definition of resilience, using less impressive vocabulary, is that you have a buffer to your mood. You can take some bumps and bruises and because of this buffer, your emotional reserve, you can handle the bumps and bruises and still be happy. So, even though I’m doing some deeper mental work on myself, I should be doing better, obviously I hadn’t isolated the problem.
Part of what I came to realize was that I’ve had a real lack of any kind of downtime or relaxation lately. Although I do well in social situations I truly am an introvert. An introvert. Being an introvert, the way I charge my batteries is with time alone, time to think and write and not be drained by dealing with people. I don’t get drained by the one on one good conversation dealings with people, but the general small talk, business interactions that we all have at work. So what to do?
So what’s necessary to a time like this is to make some change and break the routine. So one change that I’ve obviously just made was to shave my head. And please, people, I’m not recommending everyone go out and shave their head or even radically alter their appearance. This was actually something that I had planned on doing for months but was just waiting for the right time. I do have to admit though, it’s impossible not to feel the change completely and totally every time I walk by a reflective surface. I come to calling myself the space monkey, after a line in the movie Fightclub.
But I have made changes, I tweaked the way I’m working a little bit. I’ve pushed myself to find opportunities for kindness like shuttling some hikers back to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) whenever I can make it happen. Most importantly I’ve been finding little ways right now to just, stop, rest and be happy for a few minutes.
One of the other things I’m doing right now is trying to stay mindful of the present but keeping my eye on the prize. Basically trying to do things where I’ll be happy but preparing and spending some time thinking about my next big adventure which is less than 2 years away.
Finally tonight I want to talk about something that I’m not doing nearly enough of these days and that is getting out of my comfort zone. I see a quote often on Twitter than says do something that scares you every single day. I love that idea, I fail miserably at it, but what I know is that in my life, every single time I’ve pushed past my comfort zone and done something that scared me, I’ve gained great rewards. Rewards in the sense of accomplishment or a hell of a lesson. I’ve learned so much about myself when I’ve done that. When I set off on the Appalachian Trail two years ago to attempt a 2200 mile thru-hike I had never done anything like that. It taught me so much, I wrote a book about it Appalachian Trail Happiness. But we don’t have to do big things that scare us, even the little things pay dividends. Going up and talking to that person you’ve always wanted to. Speaking up in a meeting and putting your ideas forward when you’re usually silent. Doing things out of the ordinary and out of your comfort zone, more often than not, produce interesting and positive results.
So take a chance today, be happy, and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane