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The happiness circle The happiness circle
by Joseph Gatt
2020-10-02 09:30:31
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The happiness circle goes like this: working on emotional stability ↔ working on stability in your personal life ↔ being able to get organized ↔ being able to get the tasks done. All four elements are interconnected. Let me elaborate.

Working on emotional stability

When you are emotionally stable, 99% of the people around you are going to be emotionally stable.

BUT, if you spend too much time with emotionally unstable people, soon enough, you are going to lose your emotional stability.

hap0001_400So how do I work on my emotional stability? Many things, some of which are unrelated to others.

-First, I try to spend as much time as I can in quiet environments. So I avoid noisy places when I can.

-Second, I choose quiet activities that keep my mind busy, like reading, listening to soft music, “studying” music, and trying to learn as much stuff as I can.

-Third, when there are emotionally unstable people around me, I try hard to either stabilize their emotions, or throw them out of my life.

-There are instances where I succeeded in stabilizing the emotions of people. I remember two specific cases of students I used to teach, who, let's say, were trying to fight me whenever they could. I ignored their invitations to get into fights, and, after a few months, they understood that they could be emotionally stable around me.

-When people have a problem with me, I let them talk it out. But if solving the problem does not make them stabilize their emotions, that's when I leave, or they leave, depending on the circumstances.

-I avoid anything with too much drama in it. For anything dramatic, I prefer long, structured stories, rather than short stories that try to play with my emotions.

-Do sports and yoga contribute to stabilizing emotions? If your mind is busy with things that stabilize your emotions, then yes. If you're jogging and thinking about heartbreaking or angry things, it can actually be dangerous (I'd say it interferes with your breathing). I personally only exercise if there's something nice that can keep my mind busy.

-There are also instances where I can't get rid of emotionally unstable people, and that causes my emotions to bubble quite a bit. But the goal I always have in mind is to get rid of those emotionally unstable people to resume my quiet life.

-Is emotional stability about controlling your breathing, as in yoga or meditation? I would say it's more about keeping your mind busy.

-How do you keep your mind busy? What I do is I “collect” information in my mind. I don't know if there's another way to do it.

-What is “collecting” information? What I do is study languages and look at the progress (I can now more or less understand some documentaries in Hebrew without subtitles, when a year ago to me it was all noise, that kind of thing). I also collect stories by reading different books, and I collect music by trying to listen to a variety of songs (right now I'm trying to listen to music from as many different countries as possible). This year I've been spending around half an hour every day listening to the Eurovision song contest in reverse chronological order when I can (I'm at 1997) and I try to collect information about sports, food, perhaps fashion (I'm not gay at all, I'm completely straight, don't get me wrong).

-In sum, if you make it a routine to collect information that can make you escape some of the tough and tragic realities of life, and keep your mind busy, that will reduce the chances of you “dying from a broken heart”.

Working on personal life stability

You have personal problems that only you can solve. It could be financial problems, romantic problems, family problems, problems with your job or with your neighborhood or with your school or with obligations or whatever.

How do you stabilize your personal life?

Unfortunately, many people want all their problems gone, and they want all their problems to disappear immediately.

And a lot of those men and women tend to rely on one single person to solve every single one of their problems.

For men, they usually look for the rich brother or rich cousin or rich friend, and try to get the rich friend to solve every single problem in one second, usually by donating a huge sum of money. The problem with those men is after receiving the money, repaying their debts and moving to a new house, they go more into debt and get into more trouble, and keep asking the rich friend to solve the problems.

Women usually try to solve the problem by marrying someone rich, or marrying someone who has the potential to be rich. Unfortunately, such women often date men who have money (or they think have money) but those women do not enjoy being in the company of that man. So they play this game where they disappear from the man's life, and when they sense that the man is about to break up with them, they come back with romantic declarations and torrid sex, hoping the man will reconsider. Only to disappear again.

That's not the best way to solve personal problems.

The best way to solve personal problems is by solving them individually, one after the other. Rather than trying to get other people to solve your problems, seek advice to solve your problems.

For financial problems, motivation, hard-work and careful budget planning tends to do the trick.

For relationship problems, either taking a step back or working on seriously solving the problem usually does the trick.

Either way, you need to be organized in your thoughts and to be able to clearly see the problems in order to tackle them. What's the best way to organize your thoughts? I don't know if there are other ways, but I would say the best way is reading. If you read two or three hours a day every day, and focus on the reading, perhaps read books that deal with the problems that you are trying to solve. That won't solve your problems, but they will help you organize your thoughts and think about solutions more clearly.

Learning to get organized

If you are messy, sooner or later, you are going to fail. Sorry to be blunt, but that's usually how it works.

Of course, stable emotions and a clean personal life will help you get organized.

How do you get organized?

I would say you do one task at a time, focus on that single task, and limit your tasks to those that you really need.

If you have too many pending tasks, you can't do all of them, so you're going to get nothing done in the end.

As I said it's kind of a circle. You have stable emotions, you have a clean personal life, you organize your thoughts, you keep your mind busy, you keep your thoughts clear, you will surely organize.

Organization is also a matter of experience and stability. If you change workplaces or houses too frequently, you can't organize. So you want to keep your job and you house or apartment. After a year or two, you will have an organized routine.

Getting the tasks done

Any task will never be natural the first time you do it.

Let me be a bit offensive here. Cover your eyes if you're offended. Being good at tasks is kind of like sex. The first time you do it is a horrible experience. If you do it with too many different people it becomes dirty. If you stick to one person over a long period of time, you usually become good at it.

So tasks kind of work like that. If you do the same tasks over a long period of time, you become good at them.

Some people think that frequent changes in their life are beneficial (for example, that frequently changing jobs will lead to promotions and better pay etc.).

I would say only quit your job if it's becoming impossible. Kind of like you would only divorce your partner if life becomes unbearable.

If there's nothing wrong with your current job, and that you're only quitting because apparently there's a better opportunity, you want to think that over quite a bit before making the job switch. Working with new people in a new environment is never easy.

So, try to keep the same house, live in the same rooms, and try to keep that job for as long as you can. Of course be prepared in case there's some kind of change. But opt for the kind of job with a robust vision.

Tasks become second-nature with experience.

Some companies like to shift staff around different departments, giving staff different roles every year or so. But that hinders the ability to get the tasks done, as you constantly have to learn new tasks from scratch.

I would say go for the job where learning new tasks is done in “evolutionary” fashion rather than “revolutionary” fashion. Jobs where you learn one or two task at a time, rather than jobs where your old tasks are history and you have to learn how to perform a brand new set of tasks every year or so.

We could say that inability to perform tasks leads to unstable emotions, which can lead to personal problems, which can lead to problems getting organized. Or put that in any different order and you get the same result: depression, sadness and so on.

But if you're good at performing your tasks, then usually your emotions stabilize, which leads you to clean up your personal life and get organized. Or put that in any different order and you get the same result: happiness.

Final words

Life has its load of good surprises and bad surprises. Grief, depression and loss are a part of life, and COVID-19 has made this a collective thing when grief and loss used to be confined to the individual.

So if you start keeping that mind busy right now, you will be “armed” next time grief strikes. The best way to deal with grief and loss is to keep the mind busy with something else, and to be surrounded with good, emotionally stable people.

Good luck, and may you find happiness.

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