Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy, Happy, Happy

Author Hugh Howey published an interesting blog post on happiness last week. Oh, wait. I guess it was on selling books, or not selling books. But really it was on our innate base level of happiness. Basically, he believes we choose our own happiness, which is only temporarily affected by outside factors. I believe that's true. For proof, we only need to look to our kids at Christmas when they get that toy, game, or gadget that they absolutely had to have. The initial happiness they experience upon opening that gift wanes quickly and their relative happiness goes back to base level before we parents have even paid the credit card bill. 

We do this in our writing lives, too, don't we? I'd be happy if only I were a better writer, could land an agent, get published, sell more books, win an award. . .  But the reality is that those things may bring a momentary surge of euphoria, but won't change our innate base level of happiness. Growing up, my mother always said that it was possible to be happy no matter what your circumstances. Mr. Howey says it this way: "How we feel should be up to us." Which is actually pretty empowering. I do not have to rely on anyone else for my state of mind. It is within my choosing to be happy and that starts, to quote Mr. Howey again, "by seeing the small good in the world."

I watched About Time last night. It's a romantic time travel movie with Rachel McAdams and Domhnall Gleeson, that, in the end, reminds us to live every day deliberately, to find the extraordinary moments in an ordinary life, to savor the moment. This one. Right now. Without fretting over how it could be better if only...

Today, this music video is making me particularly happy. It may be a temporary high, but hey, I can hit play as many times as I want ;)  I dare you to watch it and not smile! 

 Do you have a favorite feel good movie, song, or book to recommend?