“Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.” – Robertson Davies
What Robertson says here is great–happiness is always a result of something else, it is never something we can “demand from life.” And I especially agree with his analysis that if you find yourself unhappy in life, you would be wise to “stop worrying about it” and try to make the best of it. Life is too precious to waste away moments in worry, unhappiness, and discontentment.
Our happiness is a matter of our attitudes–the temperament that we choose each day of our lives. If I choose to have a bad attitude, I will be hard pressed to discover much happiness in my life. If I have a good attitude, however, I will find that my life is filled with very positive things, and that happiness has entered my life in abundance as a by-product of my positive attitudes.
Additionally, it helps to find the little things in your life that bring about small amounts of happiness, and if possible, incorporate them into your routines. The hot bath when you are worn out, tired, or sore; the half hour jog out in the woods or through the park; the weekly visit to see a friend or someone in need. It usually does not take much to help us become more aware of the beauty and happiness in life.
If life seems dull, boring, and unexciting, and happiness is a fleeting thing, then perhaps a simple change in attitude is just what the doctor ordered. Only you can make yourself happy, for as I wrote in another piece, happiness comes from within. So if you find yourself feeling unhappy… why not take Robertson’s advice: “stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”
No matter your current disposition… find some “treasures” today.
Questions to consider:
Do you feel happiness is a “matter of temperament?”
Do you make the most of your current situations each moment of the day?
How can we open our eyes more to the small things that mean so much?
For further thought:
“I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds with us in our minds wherever we go.” – Martha Washington