What makes you say WOW???
I asked a patient of mine the other day, “Do you have anything in your life that makes you say WOW?” She stared at me for a few moments. “No. I don’t” she replied. I also asked her what her goals of therapy were and was there anything in her life that she wanted to change. Again, blank stare… no answer. Not all the patients I treat are clinically depressed, but the common thread seems to be that they are not happy. And deeply, so deeply afraid of change.
There was a recent P.B.S. Series called “Happiness” where celebrities were interviewed on their thoughts on the subject. My favorite reply came from the brilliant Larry David (of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm fame). He said that happiness in life is dependent on having a job that you love and having regular sex. Pretty simply, huh?
Let’s start with the job situation – most people, especially in the United States have a job that allows them to pay their rent / mortgage and buy more stuff. Do most people like their job? Having a job gives one a social outlet and a sense of accomplishment, but do you LOVE what you do? Do you drive to your workplace, happy, excited, with boundless energy to dive into your work? If you are just working to make money to buy more stuff… is stuff the key to your happiness? STUFF…that you need to maintain, clean, fix, etc. The Dali Lama would say this thought process in one that weighs one down… disconnects you from what is really important in life.
What did you want to be when you grow up? Are you there? I don’t recommend completely growing up… but I do recommend finding a passion in life and finding a way to make that your life’s work. Recognizing your talents, skills and making them work for you. If you are in a job that you hate, and find yourself stressing about this job when you are not even there… why are you still working there every day? Yes, I know our current economy is disastrous. I have many, well educated, brilliant friends that are currently unemployed due to the current economic conditions. Perhaps using networking your creativity to make your passion your work, instead of Monster.com can prove something to change your life for the better.
I often use the example of a very dear friend of mine who a few years ago was living in New Orleans and working as a graphic designer. He did not like his job, at all. And along came Hurricane Katrina, which wiped out homes, hopes and dreams. My friend lost most of the material possessions he owned, but through his disaster, he found his passion. He began to take pictures of the damage from the flood. He moved his life to Baltimore, made countless friends and found the thing that made him say WOW, to be his life’s work. Today he is one of the busiest and wickedly talented photographers in Baltimore.
So, friends, what makes you say WOW? Do you love what you do? Are you simply working in a job so you can make more money to buy more stuff? Is that all there is to life? Would love to hear your comments.
Oh, and as for Larry David’s comments on sex and being in a supportive relationship… to be addressed in the next installment.
Be happy and healthy!!!