I had a nice and enlightening phone call tonight. You know, those calls were you talk about anything and everything, trying to get more depth out of each other. In the middle of this call, I got dealt this curve-ball of a question. “Are you happy with you life the way it is now?”
Before answering this question, we have to define the idea behind the question. Did this person want to know if I’m:
- contented and complacent,
- happy with the way my life turned out,
- or did he want to know if I’m leading a happy life?
I’m not willing to spend the rest of my life like this, in the same routine. I guess this means that I’m not complacent about my life. I want more out of life than what I have now. It’s not my life ambition to look back in 30 years and see a life spent alone, going from one “relationship” to “relationship”. At the end of the journey, I want to be able to say that I made a difference in at least 2 people’s life.
Am I happy with the way things turned out? Hell yeah! I mean, it could have been a lot worse. When I decided some nine years ago to migrate to the Netherlands, I had no concrete plan, no saving, no job and no place to live. What I have achieved so far, I’ve done it myself. With hard work and determination. There have been ups and downs in the past years, but I’ve weathered the storms so far, with help of friends (and family). I may be a stubborn bugger, but I know when to ask for help and when to accept that helping hand.
The biggie is: Am I leading a happy life?
Why not? I have a job I’m happy with. Have (good) friends and am in relatively good health. Why should I dwell on the things that can be improved? Like my late grandparents would say “every house has its cross.”
My belief is that we need to take our lives in our own hands and at least make a real effort to change the things we don’t like. Not in a loose cannon kind of way, but by investing our energy in things that are worth our while.
I’m not a praying kind of person, but I find the Serenity Prayer to be a good thing to keep in mind.
- God grant me the serenity
- To accept the things I cannot change;
- Courage to change the things I can;
- And wisdom to know the difference. …