Looking at the title of the post, you’re probably thinking, “Duh! Of course it counts!”
Really? You know this in theory, but I’m betting you don’t apply it as often as you should.
How many times have you tried to come up with other reasons to do something besides the fact that it makes you feel good?
How many times have you taken on work that makes you miserable because you’ve discounted your unhappiness in favor of how much money you’ll bring in?
How many times have you decided not to do something because you wanted to do it and felt like you should be “responsible” or “mature” by doing something you didn’t want to do?
How many times have you second-guessed how and why you enjoyed something because the pure enjoyment of it wasn’t enough?
How many of your decisions are based on your belief that you don’t deserve to be happy?
I hope you take the time to dig into the questions and have the courage to answer them honestly.
I could go on with questions like this all day. They come up with me, my clients, and my friends frequently. If you’re of the fairer sex, they probably come up for you every day.
We live in a schizophrenic society and we’re all messed up when it comes to happiness. We want to be happy, but we think it should be earned or deserved or hard to come by. We’ve been told to suck it up and be big boys and girls. We’re fed tales of how hard it was for those that came before us. Our world traditions feature humble, compassionate, and gentle people, and, at the same time, we idolize the stoic hero with a stiff upper lip.
Happiness shouldn’t be our only consideration, but it should count. We shouldn’t discount the misery we go through in a day because we make a certain number of dollars so we can buy a certain number of things. Sure, we might have to go through that misery one way or the other (for now), but we should acknowledge how we feel about it. If we don’t, it’s a sure way to continue along the path of misery — and we miss out on the opportunities that take us straight to happiness.
Being happy counts. Feeling good counts. Enjoying the moment counts. Singing a silent song of joy counts. They count without qualification or justification.
It’s simple but not easy: allow yourself to be happy and at peace or force yourself to be miserable and discordant. Your choice is not manifested mentally — it’s manifested through action.
You can start acting like your happiness counts today as well as you can tomorrow. Will you?