How to Have an Absolutely Perfect Life in 5 Easy Steps
It annoys me when I see blogs, articles, book titles or any other written piece with a title like the one above. Nothing against ‘self-help’-type books, but everybody, with or without a disability, has their own methods to achieve happiness. This is not to say that one can’t get good ideas from such an article, but it is to say that not everything that works for one person will absolutely be right for another.
The authors of such pieces should take care when writing titles or headings and not deal in absolutes. That is what really bothers me. For instance, a blog titled, “5 Easy Steps You Can Take to Help You Have a Better Life” is a much better way to present this concept and as you can see, has a much different meaning from the title of this blog! If the world were entirely black and white, I would not take issue with the title of this blog and those out there that are similar.
The reality is that there are a lot of gray area in our lives. That gray area is not necessarily a bad thing. The name itself sounds negative; the color gray isn’t usually associated with being happy or, indeed, hardly anything that is pleasant. Colors that generally are associated with happiness tend to be bright, pastel colors; not gray. Although who’s to say what color makes someone happy or sad? Anyway, back to the second sentence of this paragraph: a gray area is not necessarily a bad thing.
This debate brings to mind a saying often attributed to Roman poet and philosopher of the first century BC, Lucretius, who said, “What is food for one man may be bitter poison to others.” We don’t all do things in the same way and what makes Person A happy may not make Person B happy. However, Person A cannot, and should not, demean Person B’s methods of achieving happiness.
For example, cooking is something that makes me happy, as you probably read in last month’s newsletter. However, being in front of a stove constantly stirring rice for a good risotto is probably not everyone’s idea of a good time! Stirring rice is not a particularly mentally taxing event, so I am able to think about other things and maintain the constant stirring. I find that cooking gives me a sense of achievement and also time to “be in the moment” with my thoughts. At the same time, the more stirring that I do makes for a good risotto! And that can make almost anyone happy.
In short, there is no absolute right or wrong way to achieve happiness. You can read articles and see what makes others happy, but the most important thing is to focus on what you do and whether it makes you happy. And it is never a bad thing to find new activities that promote happiness in your life.