Finding happiness in adversity

Our quest for happiness

Our quest for happiness

As the saying goes, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.

Those who can handle adversity are proof of one of the paradoxes of happiness: that real happiness requires a balance of experiencing the bad with the good, the dark with the light; each is needed to understand the other.

Many expect to be handed the perfect life, without the need to learn and grow from their experiences and, unfortunately for them, it rarely works out that way. Others talk proudly of the ‘scars on their back’, triumph over tragedy, or how sweet success tastes when rebounding from life’s setbacks.

Our modern quest for happiness has been reduced to a scramble for pleasure and instant gratification; a temporary state – a life protected from bad things, free from pain and confusion, where you are granted life’s prizes without the cost of earning them through experience.

This version of well-being ignores the satisfaction that comes from living a meaningful life. It’s the dark matter of happiness, the quality we admire in people we describe as successful, balanced, centred and happy – people we wish to emulate.

This broader definition of personal success is dominated by feelings of happiness but also seasoned with nostalgia and regret. To live a full life – to have a tranquil, easy existence – is not enough. We also need to grow. And sometimes growing means facing our fears, landing on our backside and, dare I say it, failing.

Negative events have the ability to shake up the status quo in our life, which opens the door for change. Implementing real change and coming to terms with our new reality takes conscious effort. Being willing to do this is one of the major differences between those who grow through adversity and those who are destroyed by it.

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3 Responses to “Finding happiness in adversity”

  1. paulhassing Says:

    Nice one, WLB2! It’s good to see you gettin’ real in da house. Keep ’em coming, Cobber! Kind regards, P. 🙂

  2. paulhassing Says:

    … Though I still wish you’d centre your pics and left-justify your text. 🙂

  3. adamnrave Says:

    Good points, WLBB. I invariably learn most when I stuff something up. And as I invariably stuff things up, I’m rather a learned fellow, n’est pas? By the way, left rag your text and right justify your pic, and we’ll see if @paulhassing’s head explodes …

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