I expect happiness to fall in my lap. But, like anything else in my life worthy of having, happiness takes hard work. Like losing weight or reconciling a conflict with a friend or starting a new business. It all comes with huge amounts of effort—effort I may not always be willing to give.
My sister sent me a quote:
The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greener where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be. -Robert Fulgham
It’s a chore to carry buckets of water just like it’s a dedicated task to commit to twenty-four full hours of not comparing my life to someone else’s.
It’s a challenge for me to not want what other people have or what I think they have. The trap to want what I used to have, what I loved having, and what I knew to be good is easy for me to fall into.
It’s easy to want. It’s difficult to work.
I say that I want to be happy. I want to lose five pounds. I want to spend more time with those I love the most. I want to prioritize my schedule. I want a clean office. It took me less than ten seconds to type what I want. How long will it take me to go after these things? How long am I willing to work at it? How much effort will I contribute? Will I do the work?
Happiness takes work, concentration and intention. I used to think that happiness just happened. Now I think it is all perspective and how we make it happen.