Last night I watched a documentary that reminded me how happiness is just a fleeting and relative feeling. How happy you are feeling usually depends on how much higher you feel compared to your most recent level of happiness.
A can of dog food would make most people feel nothing or possibly disgust but if you’ve been trapped in your car for 5 days and a can of dog food appeared in your glove compartment, you would be happier than at any other meal of your life, assuming you have a can opener. Luckily, I always carry a Swiss Army knife.
We chase happiness like any other high. A 2 week vacation might as well be a 2 week cocaine binge because sooner or later you’re coming back down to earth. What happens when you come back to your regular life? I can’t wait til I go again. Like a junkie.
Once in a while you’ll hear about some accomplished person who had it all but ended up feeding their brain with lead. When one comes to the realization that they can’t buy anymore happiness it can become depressing. Luckily for 95% of people they will never have the resources to arrive at that sobering reality. There will always be a dangling carrot for most.
This morning the dog took a jump that might have been a little too high for her. Maybe she was trying to kill herself to get away from me forever. Less than a minute later I noticed she had trouble putting weight on one of her front legs. Pathways opened up in my brain and not often used chemicals signaled a response of panic and guilt.
My baseline happiness which is pretty low already took an enormous hit. A few hours after the kamikaze stunt my dog pulled, I was convinced her leg was fine. I was happy. It was like I snorted a metaphorical line of cocaine that boosted me up 5 levels.
Tomorrow when my gratitude has almost fully worn off I will have to go about the regular methods of seeking happiness like eating French toast and day dreaming that I am the heir to the largest Chinese powdered milk fortune.