What is synthetic happiness?
Is it lie? A farce? Or a commitment to excellence?
The truth is we have been lied to about what happiness REALLY is.
Ever since children, we have been taught to always seek the best, be the best, buy the best, HAVE the best, but the problem is,out of all the possibilities in the world, there can be only one best.
If 2 million people want to be the greatest basketball player of all time, there can be only 1 best, and if 2 people want to be the world’s greatest basketball player, there can STILL only be 1 best.
There are a few different types of happiness
But, they can be pretty much summed up in two major categories: genuine and synthetic.
I know, you are already deciding that synthetic happiness is a lie, but that’s far from the truth indeed, not only is synthetic happiness real, but it is required if you really want to be happy in life.
So what is the difference?
Real happiness comes from genuine and natural enjoyment. Things like: accomplishment, new experience, personal growth, reaching a goal, receiving love or praise, helping others, or working towards something can all create real happiness.
Synthetic happiness comes from mental creation, or simply, from a CHOICE to be happy. Things like: being grateful, expressing and feeling appreciation for what you have, choosing to accept yourself, choosing to let go of things outside of your control, or choosing to view failure as an opportunity can all create synthetic happiness.
The difference is this: real happiness comes naturally, synthetic happiness is a choice.
We live in a culture of impossibly high expectations.
One of the problems with our idea of happiness in the west is that we constantly strive for more, not a bad thing in itself, but it can cause a lot of strife in our lives if we don’t keep it in check.
There is an old zen saying that goes something like…”You are born, go to school, graduate school, go to college, graduate college, get a job, get married, have children, retire, and then you die.”
It is sort of depressing, but it is meant to show you the absurdity of trying to seek an end point to life. The end point of life is death, and that is it. We are all seeking some moment of perfection in the future, and yet that moment will never exist unless we create it.
Your goals of tomorrow are no better suited to provide your happiness than the moment that is before you right now.
The new job you think will save your life, the new house you have been saving for years to buy, and even the children you want to have someday to complete your life will never create some perfect point where you can just be happy for the rest of your life.
Look at guys like Dan Gable (the famous Olympic Wrestler). I respect the heck out of this guy, and he’s kind of a hero to me, but when you take a look at his life it is kind of sad in some ways.
He is a legend, perhaps the greatest athletes of any sport of all time, and yet now he’s 50 something years old with bad hips, and kids he barely knows.
He has done so much, overcome so much, accomplished so much in life, yet he never took joy in his accomplishments, never truly basked in and savored his victories, and even to this day his one loss in wrestling haunts him, despite everything he did.
Perfection is a cruel joke, it is a mirage in the desert that we often chase. We wander throughout the desert looking for that one special place to just settle down and be happy, but the mirage is nothing but a reflection of the responsibility that we hold within ourselves.
Genuine happiness is hard to obtain, very rewarding, and very short in duration.
Genuine happiness passes quickly because it is a product of accomplishment or from the satisfaction of hard work.
Synthetic Happiness can last forever, be called upon at any moment, and requires little effort.
All it takes to produce synthetic happiness is a choice.
A choice to be happy, to appreciate what you have, to love yourself, to make the most of the moment that you are currently in. Each moment has everything within it that you need to be happy, it is up to you to create it.
Happiness can be chased for your entire life; you can do more, create things, reach goals, and do everything you have ever dreamed of, but happiness can only be felt in the moment, and it is only in the moment that we possess our truest freedom.