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I feel like everyone is really struggling this year.
Myself Included.
At the personal, professional and political level,
everything just feels a little hopeless.
I mean there's just been so many retrogrades this year, ya know?
And like right now Venus is retrograding into Scorpio
and then it's gonna transition into Libra,
so we just have to like stay strong you guys 'cause I dunno what's gonna happen during this time!
And lately, I've really been wondering,
"How do you be happy when it feels like the world is on fire?"
And not just like the ignorant happiness of obliviousness,
real, genuine happiness in the face of adversity.
I mean when shit hits the fan,
how do you stay in a state of joy and gratitude?
Is it even possible for those of us who are not the Dalai Lama?
Oh my God, he is so wise! Retweet, like, follow.
I have a friend named Linda .Linda's in her early fifties,
and I met her doing background like, ten years ago.
And for those of you who don't know, background means where the extras in the back of film and tv scenes.
And something that always amazed me,
about her is, just how happy she is.
Like no matter what our external conditions were, like if we had no food, if we couldn't go to the bathroom for hours, if it was freezing cold outside and we had to do a scene forever, she was always smiling.
Even if someone was being a dick to her, she was smiling.
And she just radiates genuine happiness.
Its insane, and Linda and I have kept in touch on Facebook over the years,
and randomly I was just like,
"Hey how are you able to be so happy all the time? I mean is it like genetic, or
do you do like a gratitude journal, what is it?"
"Well Anna, the best way to be happy later, is to be happy now."
"Wh-What does that even mean?
It sounds like a fortune cookie, Chinese finger trap thing. Like what?"
"Well the problem is that most people, specifically young people, think that they'll be happy when.
Y'know when I get that job, when I'm in that relationship,
when I find what I'm looking for. Then, when they get it and they're not happy,
they just move the goal post to later down the line.
And when you get to my age, you realize if you wanna be happy later,
you just have to learn how to be happy now."
And I was pretty pissed at Linda. I was like "Wow Linda,
that is not what I wanted to hear.
That sounds way too over simplifies to be even helpful."
Like how am I supposed to be happy right now, just as things are, when the world is on fire?
Did you not see the meme, Linda?
But the more I thought about it, the more I was like, "Y'know what? Okay fine,
what do I have to lose? Besides my unhappiness? I'm gonna give it a shot."
So for the last few months, I have been following her advise,
and actively choosing to be happy in moments where I'm not.
And it sounds easy,
it's not easy at all.
It involves like really focusing hard on what I'm grateful for until that feeling is sort of evoked in me.
resisting negative thought patterns, up turning limited beliefs
and really staying on top of what I'm allowing myself to think.
But the more I do it,
the only slightly, tiny bit easier it gets.
And yeah, I still feel like a flailing can of emotions half the time,
but realigning myself to be happy,
gets a little bit, just a tiny bit easier, every time I do it.
And I think Linda's advice ultimately does have merit.
If we are expecting happiness to come from some kind of external factor, we have it all wrong.
And if we think happiness is going to come to us in the future magically, we have it all wrong.
If we think happiness is a mindset that we actively have to cultivate moment to moment,
by reframing the way we see our situation and carefully curating our thoughts to serve us,
then unfortunately you are right, and it is a really hard habit to create and maintain.
But, its not impossible. I'm Anna Akana, and I'm happy now.
Thank you to Audible for sponsoring today's video.
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I'v been listening to The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin,
while I drive, do laundry, or stretch.
Gretchen did this year long project where she documented her journey to a happier, lighter life.
And I hate it.
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How to be happy now

3554 Folder Collection
April Lu published on December 3, 2018    B.Y.l translated    Evangeline reviewed
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