It’s a lot of fun to play with. It brings out the artist in most everyone. It’s healthy to have some boundary-less time to just imagine, even without silly putty. All kinds of ideas arise, some that would even work out in the real world of means, ends, and universal laws. But not all the artistic output is for real – although the con artists, the BS artists and the woefully miss-labeled creative accountants of the world would have us believe otherwise.
But this isn’t silly putty:
And neither are peeps:
However a person might try to mold the world – or we that live here – into their idea of what reality should be, the outcome, even if it appears to end up well and everyone is happy – the happiness only lasts a short while. Discontent rears it’s ugly head in no time flat – so much for ends well.
So what’s missing? – the understanding of how the seemingly happy ending came to be. Well, obviously, respecting the rules matters, but happiness seems to count on more than this.
And I’m beginning to seriously wonder if the experience of happiness is more about understanding the means, no matter what the outcome. The way we arrive matters, but not just in the “rules” department. The universe is pretty big, ourselves pretty small compared to it. If we start small with checking out the reality of happiness – in our own selves – a few things come to mind.
Imagine something you’ve struggled with – something minor, like a puzzle, or a crossword – or the latest Ikea purchase.
Recall the feeling you had when you found where each piece, each letter or part finally added up to the correct word or placement. The process is totally automatic. I can’t say it’s simple, just that we’ve done it for so long with no awareness of what we’re doing, it isn’t known how to describe it. But as we’re struggling, we all know the frustration that comes along, too. When we complete, or understand, something, we feel good. I can’t find any studies that back this observation, so please keep an open mind. If a sudden understanding that seemed to just fall out of the clear blue sky comes to awareness, we feel really good. But even matching tiny, insignificant, generates little bits of happiness as each match is found.
Understanding underpins at least some of what arrives us at happiness. And no matter what we understand of others, the world or the universe, it doesn’t substitute for our own self-understanding.
It’s easy to look back at the trail of Aha! and Oh, now it makes sense! moments we’ve created along the way, and remember how we felt when the dots connected. Some of it may have turned out to be a little hasty – rework was needed here and there. But without even thinking about it, we connect information this way almost continuously. It’s so quick and habitual, it seems to just happen – but the little sparks of happiness appear at every almost instant creative connection. In hindsight, it could be likened to a trail of breadcrumbs in the woods, couldn’t it?
Not a scientific analysis by any means – but perhaps a little ray of sunshine on the means to achieve what I’m going to call:
But what about the frustration? Doesn’t this cancel the idea that happiness can be persistent? Look at it this way – if all this frustration is really out of not being finished, or not understanding yet, then it’s just a matter of time until happiness kicks in. Since we’ll be happy soon enough, by embracing the idea that it’s on it’s way, rather than the frustration we’re feeling, might just open the way for a happy journey.