Maybe not so at the moment, but it is achievable. Also, I might rename “happy” to “content”, as to me that’s a more lasting state of being. I have certainly covered this topic before, and to be honest, a lot of my writing has to do with this subject. That’s because I believe it’s so key to our well-being and informs the way I lead my life and practice too.
Derren Brown has published a great book, “Happy”, which I have just finished reading. It contains both a wealth of his personal insights, but also signposts to other books well worth reading, and that I’ve mentioned before in my blogs. The core of his message is how to reframe the way we live our lives so that we can be “happier” or more content. Whilst it’s not a practical self-help guide, it is packed full of really thought provoking information.
To date it’s the most encompassing book I’ve read to move towards a more fulfilling life. I pretty much agree with everything written and alluded to. I can see, on the basis some of my clients have read the book too, that it might provide enough “guidance” for some. However, it’s a really good starting point, and could be used to have useful discussions about what life’s about and how to become more fulfilled.
I won’t do the book justice by trying to precis it here, all I’ll say is that it eloquently covers a range of the subjects I’ve covered, and from a similar, yet different viewpoint. Therefore it would accompany my own writing nicely. I would mention it has an intriguing third part, which is how we approach thoughts of our own demise. How we can look to come to terms, accept and then somewhat revel in our upcoming death. This might sound odd, but in the context of using death as a full stop, we can ensure we live our lives to the full. Essentially death is going to happen, in whatever form it happens for us. We can’t change that, so if we can learn to spend less time worrying and fearing it, we can put more energy into embracing the here and now. There is pretty much no point in worrying about an event you can do nothing about. All you can do is ensure that up till that point you feel you’re getting the most from your life. That when you look back from that full-stop (if you get the chance), you can be pleased with what you did with your life.
I appreciate that words on a page might not help you really explore what this could mean for you, how you might go about what I and Derren are suggesting. This could be done with friends a family, or with a Therapist if you’d rather. It would mean getting over the taboo of death. Learning that it’s just a thing that’s going to happen and that it can just be discussed and used to inform how we live. As an interesting thought experiment, think about what it would really mean to live for ever. That whilst we all seem to think at some point or other that it would be great, it really wouldn’t be. Life would pretty quickly become empty and meaningless. When you start to see and accept that our death enables life to have a meaning, it ceases to be such a terrible thing. We’re also lucky that a lot of us in the world get to live a lot longer than our predecessors. Also that some of us get to live a lot longer than some others that currently share the globe with us. So rather than worry about, fear and try to reverse the inevitable. Embrace, accept and utilise the inevitable as a source of energy and focus for what we do to that point.
Essentially live well and die well…