Friday, January 27, 2017

Accumulating Little Joys

In the several millions and billions of moments that life encompasses (if we are so lucky), it is reasonable to expect happiness to only be bursts of moments than a constant flow. For it is almost psychologically impossible for us to be in a prolonged state of happiness (or sadness) before habituation sets in, and we no longer recognize or experience the emotion (kind of like walking into a perfume store and our olfactory senses becoming inured to the scents until everything is neutralized)

Then, it is reasonable for us to calibrate more achievable expectations towards what constitutes as happiness. If even our greatest achievements can only give us a small set of finite moments of happiness, then pursuing ambitions for the sake of happiness seems futile (Self-fulfillment is a different category)
So, it follows that accumulating little joys through the course of our day is a better way to infuse those bursts of good moments in our everyday lives. Fitting simple pleasures and joys into those many many small moments seems more tangible than wanting to win a Nobel Prize to be truly "happy". 
If we take care to notice, indulge, or pause from the constant running, there are endless things around us to bring joy, pleasure, or a moment of peace and contentment. Once something like that is noticed - like an unexpected rainbow arching across a bridge, pause and fill your senses with the beauty of the moment. Meditate and immerse into that moment, appreciate every shade and angle of the rainbow, the magnificence of the man-made structure towering to meet the colors, the clouds, the birds, the sun, the noises.... everything. A moment of joy could even be spotting a beautiful and elegant line of logic in a co-worker's code/writing. We often notice so many such little things that appeal and strike us, but we are quick to move on... so quick to dismiss the sunburst of light that they bring. What an irony that we should dwell so very much on the inverse of such things - a slight hint of rudeness, set-down, or disappointment. We immerse ourselves into every shade and nuance (imagined, extrapolated, and exaggerated), relive it so many times until reality blurs and takes on a new shape.

In the pursuit of accumulating little moments of joy that build through the day, I hope to dwell more on the joys, and dust, dismiss, and move on from the negativity as quickly as possible. For, happiness is achievable in small tangible doses, regardless of our bigger, intractable circumstances.

Linger in the joy of a well-brewed cup of tea, the tinkle of your new bright bangle, the warmth of your colleague, the courtesy of a driver, the beauty of the mountains around, the calming scent of the new candle, the innocent question of a child, the perfect comfort of your own bed, the loving voice of your mother, an unexpected compliment from a stranger, the lovely shade of your recent toe-polish, the satisfaction of a well-cooked meal, the endless stars on a cloudless night, etc. etc.

Will I be living a delusional life filled with dopamine hits I get from vivid colors, music, and thoughts? Then, so be it! May all my six senses forage for everything bright and beautiful. 
Better a happy lunatic than a miserable intellect!

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