I’m a big fan of author and blogger Chris Guillebeau. Part of what compels me to his writing is that I sense a truly wise and generous spirit. More to the point, I appreciate that he approaches the world from a perspective of abundance. I also identify with his desire to help others. Although Chris usually writes from a positive view point, I was struck with a post he recently wrote entitled How to be Unhappy. As I read, I found myself immediately thinking of people I know who have chosen to live their lives according to one or more of the “techniques” on Chris’ How to Be Unhappy list.
Realizing that I was in fact falling into the trap of making judgments about others (see Compare Yourself to Others), I got to thinking. How necessary is criticism in our lives? Does having a critical eye really make us superior, and if so, does that “superiority” bring happiness?
Thinking back to my own experiences, I realize that I’m most happy when I’m…
- admiring something beautiful
- creating art
- sharing a laugh with someone
- sharing a wonderful meal with a loved one
- helping someone
- giving and receiving a hug
- reaching out to someone
- challenging myself
- listening compassionately
- absorbing myself in something I’m passionate about
Not surprisingly, none of the above involves being critical of others or myself. So what do I plan to do when I start feeling the urge to be critical? A lot more of steps 1 through 10!
How about you? What makes you truly happy?