The H Bomb

This week saw International Happiness Day, cue the rush of people writing a tie in blog post. Normally I ignore these but I was drawn to the one written by Sukh Pabial. In it he muses on the nature of happiness, on the complexity and diversity of definitions. It really is an excellent post and I recommend it with just one caveat. In his final paragraph Sukh says “It is so very attainable and achievable.” Now this is slightly at odds with the rest of the post. It also jarred with me slightly.

Of course it would jar with me, after all I have bipolar disorder. I’ve suffered bouts of debilitating depression, manic highs of elation and quite a lot of the sickening lurching between those two states. Sometimes the mania actually feels pretty good, I feel kind of happy but it’s not a happy that I can trust, one based on reality. When I’m depressed, I can find that quite comforting, released from the cycle for a while.

If I’m completely honest with myself I think I would settle for being content – which sounds a bit insipid, a bit half hearted in this age of mission statements and being “passionate” about the most mundane of tasks. Even allowing for the fact that I have a “severe and enduring”  (its that hyperbolic language again) mental health condition I think that quite a few of us could gain a lot from looking for contentment rather than happiness. For me, having happiness as the goal is a bit daunting. I know we are encouraged to dream big and shoot for the stars but for some of us, smaller, more manageable targets are likely to be more motivating.

When I sat down to write this post I had lots of ideas buzzing around my head, examples I wanted to bring in and share. I wanted to pose counter arguments and philosophies, write a long compelling post. However, by writing these 300 odd words I’ve got it out of my system and I’m content with that.

I’m grateful to Sukh for prompting this line of thinking with his thoughtful considered post.



About Jon Bartlett

I'm a coach, blogging on things that occur to me, that I want to share and any other fun stuff I find lying around in the real world.
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One Response to The H Bomb

  1. We talk about happiness as though it has shape and form. But we can’t put it in a wheelbarrow and push it around; i’s not sat on a shelf, neatly packaged and ready to be selected.

    For me happiness happens moment to moment and some moments last longer than others (if the laws of physics allow that to be technically possible??) It’s not particularly elusive, but it’s not ‘real’ either. It’s just a bunch of thinking that I can feel…..and I’m grateful that I think and feel happy most of the time.

    Thanks for building on Sukh’s post, you’ve helped me to find a way in to add a very brief thought of my own.

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