The Happiness Project
In my eyes, Autumn has always been the season of change. The time to reflect, to allow growth to begin. To harvest the seeds that will bloom into flowers in the spring. I love this time of year, for many reasons.
Although there is beauty in being introspective, it can be incredibly challenging as well. To really ask one self things like, 'how can I be better, give more, love fully, be present', is something we so often delay. But you can't sweep these things underneath the rug, because the dust piles up in the end, leaving you with a filthy life to clean.
I've decided to dedicate this article solely to the topic that so many people struggle with daily. The thing that remains on most of our minds (often subconsciously), and that we commonly find hard to achieve. Happiness.
So what's the deal? What does it truly take for one to be happy? Well, for one - it's a decision. Putting yourself into check, changing your attitude. That said, happiness can be summed up to one particular word we often forget to add into the equation. Growth.
A few months ago, I picked up a book called the , by Gretchen Rubin. In it, she discussed the way she went from being a mediocre person (for reasons she didn't know), to a happy one. She followed an honest one year assignment, and tracked herself rigorously to find her happiness. Everyone has a different path in doing so, but it was really interesting to read her way. Happiness Project
One pertinent thing Rubin touched on was on the topic of growth. She highlighted studies which showed that people who run marathon's, are often happier while training, than directly after finishing the race itself. Getting better, and beating their time daily, made them happier than winning the golden ribbon. It is not through perfection that we find solitude, it's in the journey.
Most people would equate their happiness with a situational perk. You buy a new car, get a promotion, find love, or win the big game. But happiness is not that at all. All of the above will give you a high, even make you jump for joy for a hot second. Then what? Rubin argues that it's in saving to get the car, working hard to be promoted, watering your love daily, and training for the game, that we find true happiness. It's forwardness, not accomplishment.
I was trying to figure out which artist to link up to my article today. And in a very serendipitous way, I found just the right guy. I was listening to the always giving KCRW, when a stunning cover of Wicked Game began to play. It was James Vincent McMorrow, whom I had never heard of. After doing some research, I found that Irish born McMorrow didn't just play brilliant covers of songs I loved. He had also just released an album, titled , which very much reminds me of artists like Bon Iver and Jeff Buckley in the tone and heart. You can actually stream his record for free, if you want Early in the Morninga taste.
In an interview, McMorrow said about his music that "the lyric is very much about transition, about change. That is definitely the underlying theme that ties it all together. The last 2 years that preceded this record being made involved some of the greatest change I’d ever experienced, physical, emotional, and spiritual.”
A good friend told me that it was only through openness, not b-lining her life, that she was able to find opportunities and change. Another person told me that it was through letting go of their anger and sadness, that they were able to move on. Some do it by facing their fears head on, others by admitting their complacency. Whatever your way is, I wish you belief in yourself - that's all we really need to change at any moment.