Thursday, July 14, 2011

Any happiness you get you've got to make yourself

I stumbled across this article from actor and comedian Ricky Gervais today in the Huffington Post, and I thought it was an interesting follow up to my previous post.

Reflecting on the past 30 years, Gervais admits that he has “chilled out” about some things. But at the same time, he’s still very angry, and he notes that if the day ever comes when he isn’t, there’s a problem.

Gervais says,

I don't know what happiness is but it's definitely NOT just going with the flow. Going with the flow, for Christ sake? Don't ever go with the flow. Stop the flow, go against the flow, start the flow, but don't under any circumstance just go with the flow.

For Gervais, not going with the flow means saying what he feels and believes in, whether it ruffles a few feathers or not. And while Rubin – author of "The Happiness Project" – isn’t quite as angry and opinionated, she expresses a similar desire to do more than go with the flow. She writes,

One April day, on a morning just like every other morning, I had a sudden realization: I was in danger of wasting my life. As I stared out the rain-spattered window of a city bus, I saw that the years were slipping by. 'What do I want from life anyway?' I asked myself. 'Well…I want to be happy.' But I had never thought about what made me happy or how I might be happier.

Rubin's plan of action is much different than Gervais', but both can agree that happiness isn't about being content with what is. It's about stepping beyond the boundaries and enduring difficulty to achieve something better, whatever that may be. And although it may be uncomfortable in the moment, the satisfaction of accomplishing something, of not going with the flow, will bring you happiness. I don't want to give Miley Cyrus too much credit, but she was right on when she said it’s all about the climb.

I’ll leave you with one of my all-time favorite quotes, which comes from author and poet Alice Walker: “Don't wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you've got to make yourself.”

And checkout Gervais' article. Do it!

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