Am I the only one that didn't feel happy after listening to Happy by Pharrell?
Moving on then.
Well, when I listened to it, I believed that the goal was to generate within me some feeling of happiness. Especially with lyrics like, "clap along if you feel like a room without a roof." With such great lyrical imagery, how can one not feel happy!
Instead, I felt can cheese cheesy wrapped in a forced smile doing the Carlton. It just didn't feel authentic to me. This song was calling out something that I myself wasn't experiencing at the time.
However, it wasn't until I experienced the song through other people's funny and sarcastic reactions did it succeed in making me happy or at least making me laugh. And when I listened to the song again, I became happy not because of the actual song, but because of the memories it generated.
And that's the kicker isn't it.
Sometimes when we want happiness in our lives, it seems unobtainable. Yet, it is the memories that you have with friends, family or even with yourself that are the by-products of happiness.
By-product (definition) — a secondary result unintended but inevitably produced in doing or producing something else
In other words, you can't plan happiness. That's why you cannot set it as a stagnant goal.
Goal (definition) — the object of a person's ambition; a desired result
A goal is a tunnel visioned conclusion. For example, you set a goal that hanging out with your friends will bring you happiness. Yet, won't you feel disappointed if the interaction resulted in a fight or an argument?
To combat disappointment, try asking yourself, "What do I envision when I think about my happiness?"
Envision (definition) — imagine as a future possibility
By envisioning happiness as a by-product, you're not only satisfied when you experience happiness, but you are also more open to take in other emotions that may occur during that interaction.
With the same example, if you envision happiness as a by-product from hanging out with your friends and a fight happens toward the end of your time together, try not focusing just on the bitter end. Ask yourself: what happened at the beginning and the middle? Was there a time during your whole interaction with your friends that resulted in you being happy?
Instead of using a goal, that narrows in on one result, start envisioning by-products. Most of our happiness and other emotions are tied to memories that we've had with people, places and things. So to always expect happiness as a goal from these things will always result in disappointment. Instead envision your emotions as by-products. Occurrences that are never planned but will be received regardless. By-products are inevitable in every interaction. So why not be open-minded in how you envision your happiness.
What is your definition of happiness? What do you envision when you think about your happiness?
Reflect on old memories to see what made you happy in order to learn what actually makes you happy (just in case you don't know or need a reminder). It will also help you in knowing how much your definition of happiness has changed.
Live positively by shifting your perception through envisioning your happiness in the little things like an extra hour of sleep or an empty parking spot with a green parking meter.