Let’s say you think you need a brand new car to be happy. You acquire it and are feeling pretty good about having the car. But, it doesn’t take long until the newness wears off. Ever notice how quickly that new car smell goes away?
Now you start to think about taking an exciting road trip in your new car to feel better. Perhaps you begin to think that you should have bought a motor home for an even better road trip. Or maybe you should stay at better hotels or eat at better restaurants. Have you brought the right clothes for your trip? This process can go on and on.
Is the brand new car really making you happy? If you have been indoctrinated that brand new cars make people happy, then your response might be, “Yes, it is!” You could be thinking there would be something wrong with you if your brand new car didn’t make you happy. You might even have to pretend that it is making you happy. So is there anything real about your happiness?
You might even begin to think that if this brand new car doesn’t make you happy, then perhaps nothing is ever going to make you happy. You even begin to wonder what’s wrong with you. Does this recipe for happiness really work? Do brand new cars or anything else that you can substitute for a new car, even another person, make anyone happy? Or, do all of those things simply create a temporary illusion of happiness? How would you know? What is your definition of happiness? Remember, it can be whatever it is for you right now. Write it down and save it for later.
Mr. Webster defines happiness as “a state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable and satisfying experience.” What does it take for you to experience “a state of well-being and contentment; a pleasurable and satisfying experience?” Do you even know? Make your list and save it for later.