I wish that I had let myself be happier.
“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” – Someone
Wait, happiness is a choice? Then why isn’t everyone choosing to be happy?
Happiness can be linked to all the other regrets. If we are improving our lives then hopefully those improvements are contributing to our overall happiness. If you are being true to yourself, expressing your true feelings, and improving your relationships with others — your happiness levels ought to go up as well. If you are making the choice to improve the other aspects then you are making a choice to let yourself be happier. Thanks to Sam Harris, I’m leaning towards the possibility that we have free will is unlikely. But if you’re still reading this, you’re the kind of person that has some kind of interest in happiness. So please, continue reading and hopefully finding a path to a happier future for yourself.
There is a part of the opening quote that strikes me more than the rest. “They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits.” Habits are hard to break. 99% of the time, things are easier said than done. I can think of people that are stuck in patterns that does not show their full potential. People probably think that I have habits that are not so great, as well. Habits are easy. I am not against all habits. I would love to form habits to meditate, read, and write at specific times of the day. Unfortunately, things happen and Plan B’s must take place. It is important to challenge our habits. Try brushing your teeth with the hand your normally do not use. If you wake up and look at your phone each morning, put your phone across the room and make a point to do other things before you look at it. There are many ways to challenge many of the habits we have. If we can be mindful of which habits are more harmful than helpful, we can come up with a plan to change that habit, little by little. The more we change for the better, the happier we are allowing ourselves to become.
I believe the last line of the opening quote hints at how we lose our childish ways as we grow up, as we mature. Ask a kid to dance. Most start dancing. Ask an adult to dance. Most give an excuse not to. Or simply say no. We care so much what others may think of our dancing. If we went to the dance floor and didn’t meet expectations, it still wouldn’t matter. You’re not going to wake up to the daily newspaper front page saying, “GUY DANCED LAST NIGHT AT THE POODLE-DOODLE AND HE WAS TERRIBLE. IF YOU SEE THIS MAN, BOO HIM.” That is never going to happen. It’s not even funny enough to be fake news in The Onion.
So dance, finger-paint, do whatever your inner-child wants. I want to build a fort out of chairs, blankets, sheets, and whatever else I can find. Part of me thinks it would be a waste of time. But then I think, what would I do with that time anyways? Listen to a podcast that I’m not actually listening to? Read a book that I’ll only remember half of? On second thought I feel that making a fort may be the best thing I can do with my time. I can be creative, it will be nostalgic, and it will be fun. Maybe I will realize I have a talent for building forts. I may start an Instagram account for my forts. A Fortsagram or an Instafort.
I know what is going to make me really happy. Relationships. Once again in this series of regrets, I mention relationships again. They are so important. I’m going to be happy to have good conversation, make memories, and so much more with so many people. I’m fortunate to have Debora to share my experiences with. I’m lucky to have friends, both new and old, to share so many memories with. I am hoping to develop more great relationships in the future. Relationships that foster happiness and joy. Relationships with people who do not care if I’m not Michael Jackson on the dance floor. Relationships with people who do not care if I belt out Queen during karaoke — out of pitch, out of tune, out of key, out of many other musical-jargon-type words. Most importantly, relationships with people who do not care that I have a Fortsagram and sometimes come to their home and turn their living room into a fort.
This is the end of my series on regrets. I am happy it’s over. I’m looking forward to posting some random things in the following weeks. I hope the series has helped you in some way. It is not groundbreaking but I believe it is important that we aim to develop our Human Capital and live fulfilling lives while doing so.
The title of this post was inspired by Pharrell Williams