Yesterday, I sat down with my friends Ben Clymer (Founder, Hodinkee) and Stephen Pulvirent (Managing Editor, Hodinkee) to record a podcast that was a casual conversation about friendship, watches, and what is time anyway. Towards the end of the recording, Stephen asked me, what are my obsessions these days?
My answer: happiness. Finding ways to be happy. In a world, that is dragged down by so much negativity, the hardest thing to achieve is a state of happiness. Whether it is meditation or photo walks, or spending time with my goddaughter — it is focusing on what can be, not what was! The pursuit of happiness is as much hard work as it is getting a perfect toned body or achieving excellent artistic skills.
What is happiness? The answer came in an email from my friend Muayyad Al-Chalabi, who shared a message he got:
Remember that to be happy is not to have a sky without a storm, a road without accidents, work without fatigue, relationships without disappointments.To be happy is to find strength in forgiveness, hope in battles, security in the stage of fear, love in discord. It is not only to enjoy the smile, but also to reflect on the sadness.It is not only to celebrate the successes, but to learn lessons from the failures.It is not only to feel happy with the applause, but to be happy in anonymity.
Being happy is not a fatality of destiny, but an achievement for those who can travel within themselves. To be happy is to stop feeling like a victim and become your destiny’s author. It is to cross deserts, yet to be able to find an oasis in the depths of our soul. It is to thank God for every morning, for the miracle of life. Being happy is not being afraid of your own feelings.
And you can start with that song called Happy by Pharrell Williams.