How can I be happy every day?
It’s your attitude rather than your aptitude that determines your altitude.
How to find happiness within yourself!
After a writing burn-out following the release of the book Suivez le Zèbre, I wanted to tackle a theme that has been close to my heart since I discovered my stripes: being happy and the notion of happiness.
When is happiness?
I’ve been asking myself this question for a long time: When will I finally be happy? It haunted me from childhood and throughout my adolescence. In my little zebra head, I was convinced that I could only be happy when I grew up.
I experienced childhood as a trap. I wanted to experience so many things, but I was too young… The gap between the zebra child I was and the gifted adult I wanted to become. If only I’d known what was waiting for me at that time, I might not have been in such a hurry…
I looked forward to adulthood with the impatience of a child on Christmas Eve. The only difference is that we know Christmas is every year, whereasbeing an adult is a little less precise. I knew it would happen eventually, but when? Like the vast majority of zebras, I associated adulthood with freedom and deliverance, the chance to finally be myself and manage my life as I saw fit.
In the meantime, I had to deal with the frustration of not being able to choose and decide everything on my own.
What is happiness and how do you get there?
As a child, despite my natural distrust, I naively believed everything grown-ups told me:
– To be happy you have to be good at school
– To be happy, you have to be integrated
– To be happy you must be wise
– To be happy you have to agree
– To be happy you have to succeed
– To be happy you need to be appreciated
– To be happy you have to earn a lot of money
– To be happy you have to be in a relationship
– To be happy you have to be well brought up
– To be happy you have to be handsome
– To be happy you have to be famous
– To be happy you have to have children
So during my childhood and adolescence, I set about putting things in place to respect this doctrine of happiness. I went to school. I tried to be good. I tried to be fashionable and to please others in order to make friends. I played sports at a high level because it was classy to be able to tell other people, and it looked good at dinner parties. I went to college for six years. I finally became an adult. The zebra’s Grail, something I’d been waiting for for years.
Disillusionment with adulthood and happiness
I was 27 and still looking for happiness because I wasn’t really fulfilled. And yet, I ticked a lot of the boxes of so-called happiness that had been instilled in me:
– I was independent
– I had my own apartment
– I was in a relationship
– I had a very good job (which I didn’t really enjoy).
– I was always exercising
– I had friends
– I was (finally) an adult, responsible and supposed to be free.
Even so, I sensed something was wrong. If this was happiness, then I must have been missingsomething!
In the end, I felt happier when I was a student. Carefree, partygoer, surrounded by people I felt comfortable with, no responsibilities, no stress, no pressure… Never thinking about tomorrow… Free time (the joys of university). Doing what I wanted, when I wanted. That was my happiness.
But you can’t live like that all your life… at least I can’t. And, looking back, it was a somewhat precarious freedom. Small jobs left and right, difficult nights out, exams at the end of the semester, sharing a flat or living in 20m2… Not to mention the existential questions! In the end, maybe happiness wasn’t there either.
Where is happiness? Everyone must find their place
I was no better off.
Uh, please? Can anyone tell me where happiness lies?
Tired of take on walls, I decided to look for it, and above all, to find this happiness on my own ! After much soul-searching, I realized that the ideal solution would be to start from scratch, with a blank sheet of paper and a pen. What makes me happy? Not what society would like me to be, not what my parents or friends expect of me, but only my desires, my wants, my needs and what makes me feel good.
The quest for the Grail, to be happy every day
For six years I’ve been looking for the magic recipe for happiness, my philosopher’s stone, my eternal happiness. I must confess, I still haven’t found it! By dint of research and detours, however, I discovered and rediscovered myself.
What started out as a small, bushy, winding path has become a magnificent trail lined with all kinds of animal and plant life, with the occasional pebble still lingering here and there.
I stopped trying to tick the old boxes and gave myself a new customized listing.
– Appreciate what I have (instead of thinking about what I lack)
– Being optimistic (as long as you’re alive, there’s hope!)
– Surround yourself with beautiful people (and choose them carefully 🙂 ) People who can help you realize your dreams, projects and personal goals.
– Take time for yourself (take a break, calm down, stop running and stressing)
– Learn to breathe (practice sophrology, cardiac coherence to anchor yourself in the present moment)
– Listen to your body (yes, our brain is directly connected to our body. When you don’t feel well, there’s a reason, try to understand why).
– Go for a walk every day (walk, enjoy your surroundings, suspend time for a few minutes, refocus on yourself, happiness).
– Accept the unexpected (your life isn’t perfect, you’re not perfect, everyone always has shit to deal with, what changes is the way you approach problems… Most recently, I left my car window open for a week when it rained almost non-stop (I don’t use the COVID because I don’t get out much). As a result, the car was a bit (a lot) flooded and I burnt out all the electronic lights. And the dog gives me urinary crisis after urinary crisis, so, prostate obliges, operation and castration (it would be linked to his hormones, my poor baby). Well, with two weeks to go before the vacations, either you tell yourself that fate is fierce, or you ask yourself the right questions. Maybe in the future I’ll be less dizzy (no, it’s a utopia, it’ll never happen so I’ll accept it, it doesn’t matter, it’s only material and I’ll have brand new lights! For the dog, he’ll certainly be neutered, but at least he’ll have less pain and chronic infections, so it’s better for him. As for the financial aspect, we’ll be eating out less during the vacations, picnicking more and enjoying nature. That’s it, unforeseen events accepted, check
– Drink water regularly (strangely enough, wine and vodka don’t have the same effect on the body). Mens sana in corpore sano
–Smile several times a day (because it’s good for you and good for others!).
– Listen to music (because it puts me in a good mood and I sing and dance like crazy, for me and just for me). GOOD MOOD PARTY insured
– Embrace your imperfections(I’ll say it again, you’re not perfect, neither am I, nobody is. Yes, I’ve put on a few pounds, thanks to Covid aperitifs and acute laziness, but a round belly is beautiful too, isn’t it?)
– Anticipate (because anticipating means avoiding problems, and stress, and pressure, and remarks, and urgency, and dumplings, overdrafts, panic and accidents, yes, nothing less!)
– Getting angry won’t solve anything (it’s done, can you go back in time? No. Breathe, let go and find solutions. A problem without a solution is a problem without a solution).
– See the glass as half full (because otherwise life is just dull)
– Learning to do nothing (very difficult when you’re a zebra and your brain is running at full speed, yet it’s so great to recharge your batteries and take time for yourself!)
– Stop feeling guilty (zebra crossing, you’re not responsible for everything, you’re responsible for yourself, feel guilty if you’re a bad person… No, I’m joking, bad people don’t feel guilty, otherwise they’d have to be nice…)
– Adopt plants (it’s green (hope), it’s beautiful, it doesn’t talk and it can even clean up your home, on all levels)
– Don’t care how others look at you (because hell is other people)
– Failures = precursors to success (do you really think you stood up on your first try? Mom lied to you)
– Indulge yourself (because you only have one life, so live it to the full)
– Say Yes (you have the right)
– Say No (you have the right too)
– Be patient (because time is a friend and only time can tell if you were right or wrong…).
– Remember that everything happens for a reason (otherwise it wouldn’t happen)
– Respect your values (they’re unique, they’re yours, they’re what define you at your most authentic, so stay yourself, the others are already taken).
– Be sincerely happy for others (because their happiness doesn’t stop you from being happy, on the contrary, joy is contagious).
LIVING TODAY AND NOW (because tomorrow, we don’t know if we’ll still be around…)
What are your daily habits to keep you happy in (almost) all circumstances?
You can also find more information, resources and tools on Giftedness in Mel POINAS‘ book. With a lot of humor, Mel tells the story of the discovery of her giftedness and the routines she put in place to finally find her place!
Écrit par une HPI !
Un témoignage et des solutions concrètes pour découvrir, comprendre et apprendre à vivre en étant HPI.
To go further, you can read
- Personal development
- Personal development, an interesting tool for the gifted
- Gifted, learning to manage your fears
- The best books about High Learning Potential
- Giftedness : 20 characteristics of complex and laminar profiles
- Being a High Potential Woman
- How to tell others we are gifted?