This I Believe

Eric - Chicago, Illinois
Entered on March 7, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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Worry: Seriously?

I believe we take ourselves – and the world in general – much too seriously. As a culture, we tend to obsess about things we cannot control and, as a result, let our own happinesses suffer. Too often we waist our energy on issues, such as: “Is America too fat?”, “Are models too thin?”, and “Why can’t we just start using American models?” And we are not focused enough on what we can control that will give us at least a brief moment of happiness. We need to step back, regroup, refocus, reanalyze and redirect ourselves to do other things that start with the prefix re. Beginning with reconsidering what it is that we find truly important. Hopefully that thing is Happiness.

We cannot enjoy our lives today while obsessing about the future. Speculating our children’s futures should not take precedence over letting them just be kids in the moment. Our founding fathers did not spend months coming up with a constitutional right for “the pursuit of genius children”. Parents need to stop worrying if their three-year-old will get into an Ivy League school and just enjoy the fact that, even though she speaks quite well, she still calls her grandparents Poo-Poo and Doo-Doo…and then giggles.

I believe happiness comes in short spurts and that our goal in life should be to create enough short spurts that they increase our happiness ratio. We need to notice what makes us happy and try to do those things more often. If watching your mother-in-law leave your house makes you happy, then call her up and invite her over – and when she walks in, ask her to leave. Also, we need to understand that worry and misery inversely affect the happiness ratio; meaning: we need to limit the things that cause us to not be happy. I don’t mean up-and-quit your job because getting up at 6:30 a.m. makes you cranky, I mean find a job that you are so excited about going to that you can hardly sleep at night. If you can’t find a job testing video games or being a pizza tester, keep looking. Even if you have to take a pay cut, it is much better to be broke and happy than well-to-do and miserable.

I also believe if we want to live longer, healthier lives we need to make two things more often: love and laughter; though not necessarily at the same time. If you find yourself laughing while “loving” you could find yourself in quite the pickle, if you know what I mean.

Lastly, I believe that since our time on earth is not infinite, our lives were not meant to be spent climbing corporate ladders and raising overachieving kids. When we die, our last words will not be, “I only wish I could’ve closed the Frankenhiemer account”, they will most likely be, “Ouch!” But if we avoid accidents and live long enough to reach the winter of our natural lives, and when we look back and reminisce, we will surely remember the most pleasant and happiest of times. Let’s make as many of them as we can.