“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” ~Aristotle
Yesterday I was at the coffee shop ordering my coffee and being … charming. I was making people laugh and smiling. One of the baristas notice my mood and said, “You are in a good mood. Did something happen?”
Did something happen? Well, hell yeah:
- I’m recovering from a break up.
- I lost my position as a Real Estate agent and the 20% of my income that went with it.
- I had a costly emergency at one of my rental properties.
- I got a notice that I was delinquent on 2 parking tickets that are for a car I no longer own.
- The only piece of furniture I own is broken.
- My income is the lowest it has ever been in years.
- I got a surprise insurance bill for $11,000 due this month.
All of which have happened in the past 60 days. So yeah, I would say a lot has happened.
But the barista was right. I was in a good mood. At that very moment I had to stop and kind of look within and wonder, was I happy? With all of this crap that is going on in my life, how could I be?
This was not the first time that my positive attitude was brought to my attention this week either. Take this dialogue that took place at a lunch I had with two of my team members.
Team Member #1: Are you trying to get laid?
Me: What are you talking about?
Team Member #1: The waitress?
Me: Was I flirting?
Team Member #1: Hell yeah you were and she was eating it up.
Team Member #2: Yeah she was.
I was’t flirting. I guess I was just being me… nice. Which is not something I am usually accused of being. Is that the real me? Nice, charming and funny? I’m starting to think so and believe that it is a direct result of me being happy. (I am not a stranger to being charming and funny but doing so usually only comes after a few drinks, when I have lost my inhibitions. When I am at just right level of tipsy I’ll speak spanish, talk to women and, I guess, let myself be happy.)
I have always been that guy that tells people happiness has to come from within. That it can not be dependent on something outside of you. It can’t be dependent on something, someone or some circumstance because all of theses can be taken away and with them, your happiness. I have always said this but did I believe it? I feel like I was talking the talk but not walking the walk. I felt I wasn’t happy unless I was traveling or had a pretty girl friend or had no debt. All of which are super cool things to have or be doing but I have been unhappy while in these situations too.
Happiness has to come from within. Now, at 40, I believe it finally is for me. While all of these shitty things where happening to me I kept thinking, deep down, that the creator is piling this crap on me for a reason. “Just hang in there.”, I kept telling myself, “Stay positive.”
I now know why the shit storm didn’t ease up. It’s time for me to walk the walk… and be happy.