Posted by Karen Degen on 7th April 2015
I often say that happiness is a sliding scale. I see it as like a heater in a car, before the days of digital, where there is a sliding lever with blue/cold at one end, red/hot at the other, and inbetween just various degrees of warmish or coolish. When you have the car’s air on, if the lever is right at the far red end of the scale then one could say that is ‘hot’, but who is to say that ‘hot’ doesn’t occur before the far right of the scale? Where does cold end and warm begin? Where does warm end and hot begin? If I asked 20 people to give their opinion I am sure I would get 20 different answers. I believe happiness is much the same. There is no one spot where we can say “I am happy”. As we move through our hours, days and lives we are experiencing different degrees of happiness. Sometimes we are a bit more happy, sometimes a bit less, but unless we are near the cold end of the scale we are still happy. Sometimes I believe we get judged on how happy we seem. Not than anyone else can know what we feel inside because not all happy people are outgoing and go around with a huge smile on their face. That is a personality thing rather than a happiness thing. Still, I feel others judge based on their idea of where happiness lies on that sliding scale. They are sure that happiness is ‘here’ and not ‘there’. What I think is more relevant is how far someone has come along that happiness scale. The important part is how far you have moved along it from where you started. Few people seem to be naturally really happy all of the time. Most people seem to start from the cooler end and have to learn how to move along the scale. I have a lot of respect for people who started nearer the cool end of the scale and have managed to move up a long way. Even if they have only moved to half way, they have made a huge improvement and done a lot of work on themselves. I honour people who have had the farthest to go, rather than those who are naturally at the higher end. I honour those who still have some way to go. It is not that you aren’t happy now, you just have even greater happiness ahead.