Thursday, January 11, 2007

We dwell on unhappiness

Do people ever dwell on happiness? Aside from truly exceptional events (like getting married, getting a raise, etc), do we ever think about, or even realize why we are happy?

It seems to me that we think about it too much when we are unhappy. This makes it "contagious", spilling over into the next day, and the next. Instead of thinking about what we could to that would make us happy, we instead focus our energy on the thing(s) that made us unhappy.

If you've read the wonderful book The Tao of Pooh, you know that the Taoists teach simplicity. Don't overthink things. Don't worry about yesterday. All you have is the present.

Be simpleminded.

Observe people and events. Don't waste time thinking about who they are, or what they are, or the exact meaning of something. You can understand more about a person by listening and watching than you ever could by speaking.

Of course, it's much easier said than done. I'm trying to work on this myself, but I still get run down by busy thoughts from time to time. But I do know that underthinking something has yet to make me unhappy.

Don't think. Be.

1 comment:

Matt said...

To my ears, simpleminded has a negative connotation. (Like being a simpleton.) "Be mindful" seems to capture the same idea...