Moises: Why am I unhappy?

·4 min read

J: Hi, Singlestalk. People say I have everything I need. I come from a prominent family. We have a long line of philanthropists, doctors, entrepreneurs and a social media influencer in the tree. I drive a BMW. I never had to commute via public transport unless I wanted to. Our family business is going exceedingly well. It’s among those that even thrived at the peak of the pandemic. Considering last Sunday’s topic, let’s throw in my good looks in God’s long list of blessings. But why am I unhappy?

DJ: Not too long ago, I was on a business trip in Monaco. Picture the French Riviera. Widely recognized as one of the most expensive and wealthiest places in the world. While sitting on a bench overlooking Palais Princier de Monaco, a friend asked me how life would be for someone born with a silver spoon in mouth? Well, if a person has it right from the start, he or she won’t probably even notice. Like pulmonary ventilation. Breathing is central to life. It is the process of oxygen entering the nose, traveling down to the bronchial tubes to the lungs where oxygen is passed into the bloodstream before it is forced out as carbon dioxide. For someone having a cardiac arrest, breathing is such a big deal. But for someone who is well, it is just... air. It often is a conscious effort to be mindful of such an essential life process and to be grateful for it.

I have my down moments, too, times when I’m cleverly disguised as a responsible adult. But through time I’m learning that happiness is a lot more than just a fleeting emotion or feeling. More about how satisfied we are with life. Gratitude, on one hand, is defined as a positive emotional reaction, the appreciation of the valuable and meaningful things in our lives. An affirmation of goodness. Not really a cure-all for everything. Depression is still best handled by experts. Gratitude may even appear too holy-woolly. But it does keep people grounded and feeling positive in spite of and despite of. A study in 2003 jointly conducted by professors of the University of California and University of Miami found that those who practiced gratitude reported more satisfaction with their lives as a whole. This is but one of the many studies that established the close link between happiness and gratitude.

What we focus on expands. Whatever we spend the most time thinking about is what we ultimately experience in life. If we are too caught up with what’s missing, we tend to feel bad all day. And if we zoom in on what we already have, we tend to feel better. Haven’t you noticed that the richer you become, the nicer people are? Seriously though, we can’t have all we want. The poorest of the poor walk miles to have food and gain weight while the rich walk miles to rid themselves of junk and lose weight. But we usually have all we need.

I’m also recognizing the impact of the spoken word in our lives, the power we’re giving to negative situations by talking about them constantly. We have too many of these in social media feeds. It’s time to fight the ill effects of global whining. Move thoughts away from matters that are beyond control to areas you can influence. I can’t complain all day regarding my receding hairline. But I can use the time to work on improving my public speaking skills. I’m not advocating for concerns to be swept under the rug. The surface will look clean. But someone’s bound to sneeze in a matter of time. Issues aren’t supposed to be avoided. But not the point of allowing them to run our day and miss out on heartwarming, funny or positive experiences. Breathe them in, too. Don’t just let them go unnoticed. Recognize and appreciate them.

From your email, you are rich in resources and in looks! Dude, you’re lucky! Notice what you are focused on. What do you think or talk about most often? What are these blessings you have, moments of joy or beauty that are overshadowed by matters you have no control over? Know when and how to shift. Yes my new pal, cliché as it sounds but people are not grateful because they are happy. People are happy because they are grateful.

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