Life is not all about the great views, right? And life is not just about always being happy. Sometimes we have to work too and sometimes we are even happy there, despite our best intentions not to be (because aren’t I supposed to be doing something more?). And what if you were greeted every day with this view when you came through the office doors? Would you be happy to be at work then? Or happy with your life? And what is this thing called life anyway? If you are like me, you might sometimes wonder if you are doing it right. Is this it? And maybe you get the feeling that these are first world problems anyway.
Now that I have established that I’m no expert on ‘life’, let me just say that so far I have learnt that to be happy in life we have to appreciate the moments. We need to stop and appreciate the the views, whether we’re going up or down or sideways. And you don’t need views like this to admire beauty. There is beauty to be found in grimy walls and cracks in the pavement. There is magic that abounds in the most urbane of moments and the most fun seems to be where you least expected it.
And let’s not get a complex about it. For all the ridiculously beautiful scenery, the Swiss are no happier than anyone else. Life gets in the way and so does the fog. And as a friend recently said, “it would be hard to be in a constant state of awe.” “Yes,” I said, “you wouldn’t get much done!” The happiest people are here is when they are not just staring at the mountains but interacting with them – climbing over them, snowboarding and skiing down them or just going for a really long walk.
Is that what happiness is then? The pleasure which creeps up on you when you are too busy doing other things to be thinking about if you’re happy or not? Or the feeling of appreciation that swells inside when you are counting all that there is and not focusing on what there is not? Some days it’s enough to have a heart that beats and legs that walk. Other days we want more than this. Sometimes all we see is fog, but we need the fog to realise when the sun shines. And in West Australia, where the sun seems to always shine, we do appreciate when it rains. So happiness, satisfaction and joy are not elusive entities then, but something you can find in every moment if we take the time to appreciate it. Probably a whole universe of emotions exists in every moment. And life is what happens when you’re busy thinking about it.
So let’s get on with it then…
Question : What, in your view, is a well-lived life?