Do You Like the Things that Make You Happy?
“So what do you like?” has always been a great ice-breaking line on first dates. It gets the chick to talk (I seem attracted to the talkative types), and hides the fact that I can’t think of anything to say at first. Usually, they come up with the regular stuff — chocolate, Sex & the City, Bon Jovi, clubbing, etc, but then ever so often, one of them will start the crack that actually caves in that ice floor. While I’m yet to meet the woman who says “I like Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance“, I have met one or two who liked Clapton or explaining religion through quantum physics, and that’s a great start. So great that I often use it when interviewing people for jobs.
But does liking something make you happy? Can a guitar riff really give you that deep feeling of positive well-being? I mean, I really like movies, and sex (not necessarily at the same time), but do those things make me happy? Sure, I can be happy watching a great movie or being in bed with a beautiful woman, but do either make me happy? They certainly scratch a certain itch, and are therefore immensely satisfying, but I think happiness is something more, something longer lasting, that sustains you long after the experience is over.
All this started with Dhammika tagging me for this ‘Ten Things that Make Me Happy’ thing. Normally, I couldn’t be arsed going along with it, but I will this time. However, I’m not going to pass it on by tagging anyone else. So, in no particular order, ten things that make me happy, and the specific moments in those things that I really like:
1. Love — giving, getting, and making it.
2. Driving fast — a good open road and my FTO — I’ll do it as often as possible.
3. Travel — walking in a country I’ve never been in before.
4. Solitude — sitting down with a drink and a movie I’ve been waiting to see for months.
5. Writing — that moment when a passage just flows in my mind, and I have to reign myself in just to be coherent.
6. Beautiful women — just the fact that they exist.
7. Books — reading a passage or plot I wish I could write myself.
8. Conflict — the excitement of pitting myself against someone, not really caring too much if I win or lose.
9. Nature — its overpowering assault on my senses.
10. Eric — every second of every minute of the five years I’ve had with him, and for which I’d happily give up all of the other nine.