Happiness cannot be broken down into 12 steps or a top 10 list.
I’ve tried to do it myself, here on this blog, because that’s what the experts say people want to read. But it’s bullshit.
Happiness is a process.
It’s as unique as you are.
There’s no one way, right way, or easy way. There’s no checklist to follow, and there is no shortcut waiting to be revealed by some super enlightened expert.
Happiness is work.
Sometimes it’s hard work.
And your happiness is your work.
It’s something that you have to want for yourself, and something that you have to take responsibility for. It’s something that you have to practice, and something that will feel far away on some days.
I started this blog because I think happiness is important. Your happiness, my happiness, I think it matters. I think it’s worth the work and the long discussions. I think it’s worth reading whole paragraphs about. I think it’s more complicated than a skimmable post.
But the experts tell you to write lists, and so I do. I have.
And other people must be listening to those same experts, because my feed reader is full of lists. And they are easy to read, easy to share, easy to leave a “ooh, good post!” comment on. But they are bullshit.
Because you aren’t taking your happiness seriously if you need a top ten list. And that’s OK. There’s nothing wrong with being in a place where you take other stuff more seriously. Truly. Maybe you’re researching how to cure cancer, or raising six kids, or focusing all of your energy on putting food on the table this month. Those lists that make happiness seem like something you can slip in between appointments probably just piss you off anyway, and that’s OK.
But maybe you are at a point where happiness is important.
Maybe you’re restless, searching, and always feeling not quite right. I don’t know what that “OK, it’s time now” moment feels like for you; for me it felt like “screw it, let’s just blow up my entire life and start over.” Whatever it is, you know. And you know those shorthand missives about how to be happier are crap.
You know there’s more to it.
So do I.
And I’m promising you right now to stop pretending otherwise.
Let’s do this.