The internet is a cumbersome contraption, which brings as much chaos as it does comfort to our lives. For many, the fact that information of any shape and form is readily available is the internet’s crowning achievement. However, if one finger of blame can be assigned to the internet, it would be the guilt of oversharing.
The mantra of “ignorance is bliss” has been heavily diluted due to the emergence of the internet. No longer are we forced to have to memorize dates or capitals or locations, for with the simple (almost instantaneous) click of a button (or touch on a screen as the case is now), the information is called forth from the annals of the internet, dusted off, and presented to us on a screen-lit platter. Common knowledge is no longer common anymore.
Take for example the rising tide of, “are you happy with yourself?’’ A very simple question raising a very complex query that leads to an even more complex answer. More often than not, we come across memes and inspirational quotes online every day, shared through social media platforms bombarding us from every angle, denoting how mankind is in a race against oblivion by keeping track of time, how everyone should be their own boss, how you should strive and dream and reach for the stars in order to be happy, how people with humble beginnings have spurred multi-million dollar organizations. And more often than not we find ourselves thinking, well what have I done in comparison? And more often than not our answer is, nil. So we deny ourselves happiness.
The simple answer is: happiness is relative. It differs significantly from one person to another. As is our nature, no person is ever truly content; those with curly hair want straight hair, the short wish to be taller, the millionaires wish to be billionaires. There is no ceiling for happiness. We create it ourselves; it is up to us to determine when we are content. And that unfortunately is the one lesson no one will teach you and the internet will not provide.
What is the formula for happiness? What are its main components? The answer to this question is almost always the memories left behind. Quite often you will endure an event that at the time seemed terrifying and confusing, even scary. Down the line however, you find yourself smiling as you recall that event, telling it to anyone within earshot, completely proud and oblivious to how you felt during the event. And that is the key to happiness; memories.
Spring is in the air; with it comes tidings of change and pleasantness, of warmth and new beginnings. Who can imagine that we are already a third of the way into the new year? Where does time go? And the answer is; forward. It is unfair to judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, and as such be easier on yourself when comparing your memories to others. Be daring in trying out new things, whether it’s a trip to a foreign land or visiting a different area in a country where you usually travel, you never know where memories will be born.
So this year, discard the comparisons to your co-workers, friends and colleagues regarding who did what and where they did it. Some people might get their kicks from having a pastry on a busy corner at the Champs-Élysées in Paris, whereas you might get the same kick at a new bakery on a side-street of where you live.
Remember, you are responsible for your happiness, do not let anyone dictate what should make you happy.