Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The pursuit of Happiness, a simple choice.

There are times in your life when you simply don’t have a clue.  You don’t know if you should go right or left or even go back to where you started.  These indecisive incidents are problematic and often create problems that can stretch out for years and involve more than just you, creating problems for your children, your spouse, friends and co-workers. 

Indecision in itself is not that bad but the consequences of not deciding can be disastrous. It’s kinda like not being afraid of heights but having a fear of falling, indecision for many is a way of life, letting those important choices being decided by other factors totally external to one’s desire to decide.

The problem with deciding is that we very rarely have enough information to make an informed decision; making any decision more like a crap shoot rather than a mathematical certainty, there is no such thing.  No matter how much planning, forethought or preparation into the variables of choice there will always be a level of uncertainty.  
Does that mean we should not plan or prepare, no of course not, planning and preparing at least gives us a fighting chance of mitigating the almost inevitable happenstance of mishap that will assuredly come and like murphy’s law, “if something can go wrong, it will”, tells us that no matter how much we plan it’s very unlikely that those plans will go as planned.

I seem to be following a simple theme of late, a subject of despair towards the idea that we have control when all around us the spinning, whirling mass of incalculable miscellanies compound our daily lives with such severity and randomness that even crossing a street on a green light is filled with horror and risk.  The resent plane crash in San Francisco is a great example of that randomness and how choices created the opportunity for everything to go wrong, except in this case it didn’t. 

It was a disaster in the making and whether pilot error or mechanical failure or a combination of both the circumstances surrounding that incident should have secured the death of at least half of the passengers.   Our choices do make a difference but in some cases like the San Francisco crash the wrong choices did not play out like one would expect.  Perhaps staying at home in bed is the only safe way of staying safe.

Regardless of the overpowering and overwhelming obstacles that are strewn across and throughout our lives we continue to try to decide.  We attempt to master our domains and muster the courage to believe that deciding means something, and in many cases it does.  Deciding whom to marry, how many kids to have, career choices and a million other areas of choice that make a difference in our lives, at least within our limited functional mentality we believe they make a difference and it’s that difference that perhaps gives us that level of joy that we so ardently pursue.
Choice, whether we think we know or only randomly choose, gives us all the perception that it really is our life, ours to succeed or to screw up, ours to be happy about or ours to be despondent over.  It is within that perception that we individually create our reality.  Not the real reality of facts based on a full and complete perspective but a reality of feelings, emotions, state of mind, that balance of ying and yang, in other words either joy or misery.  Not based on the outcome of the choices we made but despite the choices we made and the irrevocable consequences that are eternally attached to each and every decision decided.

How we feel has nothing to do with what we have, what we’ve done or who we are.  That statement in itself may be harder to achieve than it is to say but it has to be so in order to explain the ever present disparity between those who have so much and feel so bad and those who have so little and exhibit great joy and happiness.  Feelings therefor are an innate and self-replicating non-mechanistic process of choice.  We can simply choose to feel good, happy, fulfilled and content with life or we can simply chose to feel sad, despair, anger and anxious.

Again and I doubt it needs to be repeated but for the sake of those who need it, let’s reiterate the obvious that the above is easy to espouse but maybe very difficult to obtain, as evidenced by the level and numbers of those who chose not to be happy.

Perhaps another discussion for another day is the complex and multidimensional effects of external influences on an individual psyche and why some are less prone to those influences while others seem to be affected more profoundly by even minimal influences.   For now the basic thesis of happiness is a choice and therefore so is its opposite and with that choice comes the chance to live a life filled with joy or one of misery, not because of the choices one makes or the circumstances of our lives but in large measure due primarily to our ability to simply say to ourselves “don’t worry, Be happy….”, Thank you Bobby  McFerrin.

If it were as easy as I’ve suggested would not everyone choose to be happy?  Probably not;  I think I want to be happy but I often find myself brooding, and complaining about this or that and my actions tell of differing motivations and altering mindsets that inevitably move me away from that happy place.  Can it be done; can we all just simply be happy?  It’s worth a try don’t you think?  My problem is I want everyone else to act happy first then maybe I’ll give it a try….

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