Why should I stop pushing my luck?
Shifting happiness, or: living in the here and now
Shifting happiness is a term with no fixed definition. In fact, I picked up the word from Marcel who used it in connection with “If you want something in life, don't put it off”. I've been thinking for a long time about what exactly "happiness shift" means to me. Obviously, it has something to do with shifting your luck up or down. But am I really doing this, and if so, when and how? The answer is: all the time. “Once I have achieved / bought / seen this or that, then I am satisfied”. I have heard myself say these or similar sentences very, very often. Especially now on the road, when I'm annoyed by a city or situation, I say things like "Oh man, I can't see it anymore. I'm really looking forward to America / Japan / Singapore ”(The destination always has to be replaced by a country where I'm NOT at the moment.) What this sentence actually means: I'm not satisfied right now, only when I'm in a certain place - but not this one. So I actively postpone my luck and in this case don't give the situation a chance to become a good one. Total nonsense actually, especially since I've really liked every country we've seen so far. In my mind, however, I am always one step further and think about what else we will experience. That's okay to a certain extent, but only if you can enjoy the present to the fullest. After all, the now is the only point in time that we can somehow influence.
Enjoy the moment to the fullest: Marcel, here in Chicago. Consciously experiencing beautiful moments is important in order to be happy.
"What would you wish for if you only had one life?"
Haha funny, the attentive reader might think to himself. I only have one life. That's exactly how it is, but do you live it the way you wanted it to be when you were a child? Excuses like “Well, you can't always do what you want” are not allowed. There are always ways to be happy with a situation. After all, it is really true: We are only once in the world, at least in this form, this body or this time. Whatever your beliefs and imaginations, at least for the moment this statement is true. Why this article is important to me: I'm also very big at postponing my luck. After school, after university, after this job, sometime later, when I've only achieved this or that - then I'll be satisfied. I remember a moment from my school days. I was in the fifth grade and in the mornings I looked at the notice board to see where it was, which teachers are not available today or whether there are substitutions. In search of my class, I looked over the bottom row - the eleventh graders. For me, incredibly grown-up, intelligent and experienced people, a different, much smarter generation. Students I looked up to in awe. “If only I were in the eleventh”, I thought to myself at the time and didn't listen to the constant “Enjoy your school days, you will still miss it” from my parents. What should I miss about school? No, that would certainly not be the case with me, I am eager for the end of the school desk. Today, of course, I'm smarter and I know that classwork isn't a big deal and that there are worse things than getting up at six. But what can you tell a fifth grader ... What I'm actually getting at: Even then, I somehow postponed my luck. In this particular example, the eleventh grade, the end of my school days. Of course, I still enjoyed the time in between, but there were still those moments when a later point in time was more attractive than the current moment. I have a vague suspicion that this backward shift will end at some point.
Sometimes you remember completely inconspicuous moments and know: I was really happy there. To me? Definitely that magical sunset on New York's Hudson River.
And that better early than late, please. I want to stop this shift in happiness, this “I'll be happy later”. No intermediate milestones until I can finally do what I like to do, what I enjoy. No more sacrifices until “finally the real life starts”. Spoiler: Real life started long before I could think. For example, I'm really proud of this trip around the world that I've wanted for so long. I didn't postpone it, but tackled it together with Marcel, who was at least as much looking forward to it as I - and we couldn't have made a better decision.
Why wrong decisions are actually right
Sometimes a decision turns out to be wrong in retrospect. One that was thought to be guaranteed to point the way to happiness. “Man, if only I had at that time”, sentences often begin with which one would like to express one's displeasure with such a decision. Still, there is a reason we make decisions, and most of the time, it's gut instinct that led you to say yes or no at that moment. Which was just right at the time, even if you later doubt it. And how can you learn from wrong decisions if you never make any? How do you find out whether the path you have chosen is a dead end or leads to personal paradise? Just. The latter, by the way, looks completely different for everyone. What we dream of, what we like, how we like to spend our time and what is the definition of a happy, contented life for us, it all varies depending on the individual. I too often talk long before I think about it and leave unqualified comments like "And THAT is fun for you?" or something like that. But of course - some people enjoy spending their time indoors even when the weather is nice. Some prefer winter to summer, some are not drawn to the distance at all. Even if I can't always understand everything, I try to understand the preferences of my fellow human beings. Happiness means something different to everyone, and as long as everyone finds their personal happiness - now and not later - the world is all right. And actually it is something very nice that we are all different - otherwise we would all have nothing to tell each other.
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