Last year around Christmas I’m sitting in my friends back yard on Miami Beach talking with another buddy. We had gone scuba diving earlier that day, getting stung by jellyfish and laying in the sun. Now we were at a BBQ, kids were running around, adults were relaxing in chairs, the air was warm with laughter. I was ‘vacationing’ back home from Chicago to see my Pop’s. My buddy had recently moved to Miami. He was from the Netherlands and his wife from Brazil. I asked him why Miami?
When they were deciding where to live he said, ‘There are 52 weeks a year, 2 days off a week. That’s 104 vacation days accounted for. Today we went scuba diving and now I’m sitting at a BBQ.’ Basically, define happiness. Live in that place. You get 104 vacations a year. Where are you taking them?
I Made a decision a few years ago to make it. I don’t regret it for a min. Making it gave me the foundation to take a risk. Something to fall back on. It is not a bad idea to make it, but for me it was not enough. It was undefined but I knew I wanted it. It involved financial security, travel, luxury as I defined it, and this, this would bring me happiness. Happiness would not be defined. Not yet. I saw my friends traveling, vacationing around the world, getting married, having kids, eating at exclusive restaurants with 6 month waiting lists anda price tag that could feed an orphanage for 2 months. That was happiness. They appeared to be happy. They smiled in their posts on Facebook, IG wasn’t a thing yet, so I didn’t know what food they were eating, or what they looked like driving their car or at the gym, selfie smiles half cocked.
My imagination . . . I had lost it somewhere in order to make it. I had lost the ability to recognize it for myself and the conviction to follow it. I made bucket list’s of places to travel, the weekends were spent making runs to Target, groceries, Costco, brunch, a sportsball game, and getting ready for the next week. There is something missing in this picture . . . This is not how I want to live. This is not living. This is making it. This is not me happy. This is status quo, surviving, getting by . . . making it.
Perhaps I was disillusioned. I was programed to believe that money = safety = happiness = life fulfillment. Not a fault of anyone, it was simply what I was exposed to. Growing up on Miami Beach, drug money was like the sand, everywhere. They were happy, perhaps it was the drugs?
My imagination had been turned off.
Making it, very different than being happy. Over then next few months my life would change dramatically. I would define what happiness is to me. My conviction to my imagination would strengthen. I would re-program my thinking, re-program my limitations. What I can/can’t do, what I should/shouldn’t have/do/be.
It was/is not easy to re-program a computer, much less a stubborn way of thinking. But there was no peace. My mind was attracted to selfish desires, things I wanted, things I saw. I became attached to these things and angered when I didn’t get or have them. Anger clouded my judgement and left me confused. How can there be happiness without peace?
The most beautiful part of waking up each day is getting another chance to get quiet, listen to where peace is and find happiness.
My happiness is not yours. You have your own inner voice to listen to, to connect with, to be quiet with. How are you defining happiness? By your standards or by others expectations you take on yourself?