What An Opportunity

Why won’t we ever be happy?

In Culture, Life on April 14, 2012 at 6:24 am

My mind has been everywhere this week. Perhaps it’s the stress of the end of the semester (and the looming final grades that will undoubtedly be my worst thus far in life), or perhaps I’m bugging out about my new job, or perhaps I’m over-tired…I’m not really sure. I’ve felt like a miniature Socrates riddled with ADHD this week, thinking about all kinds of deep stuff but never being able to connect the dots because my head keeps bouncing around. I think I’ve finally centered on one topic that has bothered, perplexed, intrigued me: everyone’s never ending discontentment – or, in other words, people will always be pissy about something, no matter where they are in life.

I’m not immune to the epidemic, but I think I’m finally becoming aware of it. Understanding is the first step to change, right? So no matter where we are, we’ll always want something else. Pretty normal example: a lot of high school students complain about their lack of freedom. “Ugh, I just wish I could drive!” or “High school is so boring!” Meanwhile, a lot of college students (myself included) miss high school. They miss seeing their friends everyday, miss playing sports or a specific team they were on (I think about my basketball brotherhood every day, though today I’m only in contact with a couple of those guys), miss the easy classes (okay, college is easy sometimes too, but high school was pretty much laughable), miss not having to pay for everything, and just generally miss adolescence.

Here’s another example: when people are single, they tend to seek relationships. They strive to feel wanted, needed, loved. They want someone to sleep next to, someone to validate their existence. But when people are in a relationship, they envy their “single self” who had the freedom to do whatever he/she wanted, who didn’t have to worry about the significant other’s problems, who could chase anyone.

I think of some lyrics from the Trace Adkins song You’re Gonna Miss This: “These are some good times, so take a good look around. You may not know it now, but you’re gonna miss this.”

Let’s not talk about how I got on this train of thought by watching 17 Again – hey, it really wasn’t that bad, and I swear it was the only thing on TV – but instead let’s talk about why this sad reality is, well, reality. When posed the question of why people will never be satisfied, one of my friends said something interesting on Facebook: “When you’re happy in the moment, it’s likely you’re not conscious of it. You’re living it.”

Isn’t that a sad thought? Any time you’re happy, you won’t be aware of it. And any time you’re aware of how you feel, you’ll be missing the time you were happy…because that’s when you were actually living, not reflecting. I guess I just wish we could be doing both at the same time.

My point here: soak up life as much as you can. It’s gonna be gone soon. We are such a minor blip in the scale of history – Here today, gone tomorrow. Grandchildren today, grandparents tomorrow. How did it get so late so soon?

Soak up everything, during every time, as much as you can. Close your eyes, take a long, deep breath, and just thank God. Try to be happy and appreciate the moment, because you will miss exactly where you are right now.

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” – Guillaume Apollinaire

  1. Brilliantly said my friend. College was a very long way back for me, with all my “very serious” plans to “change” the world, but sometimes I think those really were the best days of my life.

    I loved your choice of musical accompaniment as well. Somewhere Over The Rainbow – the version from The Wizard Of Oz, is one of those songs I think of as “untouchable” because I treasure the memories associated with it so much. But I have to admit that Israel Kamakawiwo Ole’ did an outstanding job with it. 😀

  2. Just beautiful and yeah… you little mini ADHA Socrates, if you can find this level of Buddha meaning after watching “17 Again” you are well on the way to something beautiful (I also found that disturbingly deep so you are not alone!). Top stuff! xxx

  3. Good news: You can get to that place of self-awareness when you’re ‘in it’ yet not. Pursue it if it is your heart’s desire. You will find you’re different than all the life-chasers as a result.

  4. Reblogged this on The WooWoo Press and commented:
    Being in the ‘now’ is becoming a bit of a spiritual cliché, however, clichés by their nature tend to be true: You’re well ahead of the curve Aaron Mansfield, being happy in the moment is an artform, WooWoo bows to you’re inner rainbow of happiness!

  5. This is an amazing song! Hehe [: thank you for sharing!

  6. We do get ignorant about our lives while being to stressed out with what we want and need. Forgetting that we could enjoy the process of getting what we want or need. You are right… we all say life is short, that we should enjoy it, but clearly, how many of us actually tries their best to lighten up the moment and see things differently? That when they are in relationship even though they can’t run after anyone and have that ” freedom” at least you have a special person, so you don’t need to run after anyone, and your free time is being shared.

  7. Beautifully written post! Especially the paragraph about savoring every moment. I love this version of somewhere over the rainbow. I find it makes me happy whenever I hear it!

  8. […] after reading the Why won’t we ever be happy? post over at the Gentlemen of Sport blog, I must say that I’m more than happy to make this one […]

  9. Love that Trace Atkins song…it’s a good reminder to be in the moment. I am learning to live for now and have many moments where I am happy that I am happy. I don’t have everything I want, but I have what I need. I get lonely sometimes, but that’s even OK. I don’t so much miss the good times gone by as remember them fondly. I am grateful I had those times and look forward to more. They don’t come as often anymore, but that makes them more special. Glass half full! Good post – keep ’em coming!

  10. The beginning of true happiness is indeed when we realise that we don’t need a reason to be happy.

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