Sometimes it’s important to ask the hard questions, evaluate your life, and how you feel about the direction its headed, considering options along the way. For instance, the following questions are almost always on our collective minds. How can we be satisfied in life? How do we feel content? How do we be happy with what we have?
Not because it’s an impossible task, but because life “seems” to throw obstacles in our way constantly, people don’t understand us or are actively trying to prevent us from succeeding, relationships are built on false ideas, dreams misunderstood.
This is yet another post inspired by the Postconsumers.com considerations of the OECD index. And yet, this one feels like its at the core of series.
So today, I’m going to attempt to answer these questions, knowing full well that you’re creative professionals, and you’re already chasing happiness. Hopefully that’s the right idea to have!
How To Be
The first question to the theme of life satisfaction is surrounded by possibility. Can we be satisfied in life? Is that a realistic goal to even have?
Well, I’d like to think so. We all have things that bring temporary joy to our lives, meeting up with good friends that make us laugh can be a great example of this. Whenever you’re down, you need to think about something that makes you calm down and begin to smile. I hear that baby and animal videos can work wonders.
And you might say, well timotheories, that’s just not me. In fact, baby and animal videos MAKE me angry.
And to that I say, you can absolutely choose to be angry and frustrated or you can choose to be consumed by anger. It’s not an easy habit to break though, so you need to find relaxation techniques to replace your anger with, like meditation, affirmations, and reflecting on the things you are grateful for already.
Another item which is ever so important is expectation. You cannot life your life the same way as other people have, do or tell you they plan to. You are a unique individual with a one-of-a-kind set of experiences, that means that life will not play out for you the same way as anyone else. Granted, you do have access to many of the same tools as others, and you are limited to some basic principles of life, ie breathing, sleeping, eating, having a physical body, and making a living.
But maybe you need to pare it down and live more simply?
The World Happiness Report
Have you ever read The World Happiness Report before dear readers? Well I have, briefly. Essentially its a way to measure happiness based on the country you live in, and it was developed by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a few years ago. The idea being that if countries can measure the happiness of their populace, it might help guide their policies in a more constructive direction.
According to the 2017 report, Norway is the happiest country in the world, followed closely by Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland. Rounding out the top ten are Finland, the Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden.
The principles of freedom, generosity, and trust are what drive these countries to remain at the top of the one hundred and fifty plus sized list. I mention it because I think those concepts are key in happiness at an individual level.
Let me elaborate.
How To Feel
Contentment is important in having trust and generosity for sure, and I would also argue that freedom affords that state of mind as well.
Happiness is really about feeling good about your own life. Enjoying what you have, avoiding negative thoughts about what you don’t, holding your personal relationships to a standard of happiness that makes sense for you, and never comparing your life to others.
I’m going to share another really cool article with you that explains it well. Life satisfaction is about your life, so if you are satisfied, then you are in a state of satisfaction. Past, present, and future included.
So what are the things needed to achieve present happiness? Well I summarized the theory for simplicity:
- Friends. Have a circle of close friends, it’ll boost your happiness a lot.
- A Life Story. Meaning comes from explanation, and telling stories about our lives accomplishes just that.
- Goals. A consistent and evolving list of achieved goals is better than one big dream.
- Immaterial Living. The more material(s) you chase, the less satisfied you are.
- Keep Growing. Letting your mind stay open as you age pays off.
I really do believe that you should keep growing as you age. I make a habit of reading at least one book a month, listen to a new album every week, and watch movies that I care about while avoiding activities that don’t inspire me to follow my passions as an artist. Even my closest friends share interests with me and enjoy that the story I am writing includes them.
timotheories is about community for artists, and I live my life that way, you should too. One last final theory, I make popcorn because I enjoy the taste, it has almost no calories, and it can be made around a campfire, right along the stories being told. Make your own stories, and make your own popcorn while you live your life.