Happiness as an Intended Outcome
A Cup of Coffee
I work in a small town two days a week and in a larger town three days a week. Today I am in the smaller town which is quaint, nostalgic and somewhat eccentric - like me. I came to my office although I have no clients today and decided to get some paperwork done with regard to my counseling practice and to do some writing. I stared for a moment at the blank screen of my computer and let out a slow yawn and a sigh. "Was this going to be one of those days?"
"No way, no how!"
I decided a while back to become intentional in how I seek happiness as well as how I go on the offensive regarding challenges which will most certainly arise in daily living. So I rose from my swivel chair and headed down the street to the local coffee shoppe and relieved myself of five bucks for a cappuccino and a plant-based sweetener additive. The girl at the counter was very chatty and the place was immaculately man-caveish and smelled like Colombian Heaven. Soon, I was seated at my table near a man who held an actual newspaper in his hands and perused it's contents with a very serious look on his face. I glanced over at a woman in her thirties tapping away at her keyboard with a smile on her face - referring at times to notes placed all over her table next to her brew. She is a writer like I am and she had a look of sheer intention on her face. She was lost in her work and as I heard the local train whistle blowing in the distance, the coffee in front of me began to tremble as the behemoth made it's way through town rattling, rumbling and shaking the earth with the intention of delivering seven or eight loads of trees to some lumber yard a couple of states away. The man, the woman, the barista and even the train intentionally were having a productive, alive and awake morning. I smiled because I knew that I was about to have one too. Why? Because I intended to.
It's all in Our Control!
"I decided a while back to become intentional in how I seek happiness as well as how I go on the offense regarding challenges which most certainly arise in daily living."
The Brain, the Heart and the Soul
I see people on a daily basis who tend to get caught up in the fallout of depression, anxiety and worry. Most of them worry about the same things we all do - finances, romance, work, health, lost opportunities, semi-forgotten dreams... But you see, the difficulty does not lie in the arena of surviving a depressing or anxiety-producing moment. The difficulty lies in the reaction to those moments on an on-going basis. The challenge involves being intentionally aware of the problems and conscientiously seeking out answers and solutions to those problems.
I personally and professionally believe that this is the missing link to the issue of a 15% to 40% increase in suicide rates in the United States (a staggering 40% rise in men ages 45-65 since 2008) within the first two decades of the 21st Century.
The brain, the heart and the soul realize whether or not they are all working in concert with one another to achieve resolution and happiness. If indeed they are working together towards a common and purposeful goal, the result is experienced by an intentional nature of problem-solving, planning, hard work and execution. However, if the big three are not working in concert with one another or even worse, they are working from a cynical and negative place or a place of complete shutdown, the result is experienced by passivity, aggression, confusion and sadly too often in self-sabotage and in extreme cases self-execution.
The Big Three
"The brain, the heart and the soul realize whether or not they are all working in concert with one another to achieve resolution and happiness."
Life is a Snow Globe!
I love snow globes. I wish that I was a toy maker who specialized in custom snow globes for adults. I would tell my customers to very carefully and joyfully pick out their globe by size, texture of glass, brilliance and color. I would enthusiastically urge them to pick out a particular base whether it be wood, steel or plastic. I would then give them the entire day to go into a private room and pick out the contents of their snow globe - the theme, the look, the feel and the personality of it. I would impress upon them the importance of this snow globe and how it should represent their own personal version of happiness and adventure! I would help them in any way I could, but not too much. Quietly, I would hope they had chosen wisely so that the globe would bring them many years of happiness and contentment. I would urge them to not allow too many other's decisions impact their construction. I would welcome them to take ownership of this snow globe and it's construction and development.
You see, the things we surround ourselves with on a daily basis are all a part of our snow globes. The people, places and things are mostly of our choosing. The part of the country we choose to live in or the parts of the world we choose to explore are open for us to gather information about and to consider. What we allow out of our mouths or into our eyes are, to a great degree, of our own choosing. Who we listen to with great intent and who we ignore with irrelevance - these things actually matter and they happen several times every day. They add up to who we are and begin to construct who we are to become for an eternity.
Build your snow globe wisely. Choose your mentors, friends, homes, readings, viewing habits, professions, Gods, foods, health habits and words very carefully and with a sense of humor about yourself and your place in the world. Live with the intention of having a happy, fulfilling, prosperous and giving life and you actually just might have one!
Be Careful of Who and What You Choose in Life
"You see, the things we surround ourselves with on a daily basis are all a part of our snow globes. The people, places and things are mostly of our choosing."
© 2018 Joel Gibson