Everything is Relative: The Happiness Perspective

Words: 704
Title: 50 characters
Self-development Category
By Diane Wing, M.A., all rights reserved

Have you ever had something happen that upset you to no end and then shared the situation with a friend who felt that you were overreacting? You experienced the circumstance more intensely than your friend would have.

This is because everything is relative. If you had your hopes set on a particular goal, only to have everything fall through, it could be devastating. If, on the other hand, you saw the difficulties as a lesson and a stepping stone to an even better outcome, then it is likely to be motivating.

So the question becomes, in what context are you viewing the situation? Which beliefs are kicking in and are they valid?

Let's stay with the idea of everything falling through. If you believe that there will never be another opportunity to fulfill your dreams, then it could result in depression. If you believe that The Universe is looking out for your highest good and things will work out for the best, the result is hope and understanding.

The idea of relativity is that everything has significance only in relation to something else. It's about context; nothing happens in and of itself, there is always a framework from which it is viewed and extended internal or external circumstances applied. What one person feels is important may or may not be to someone else. It may crush one person and bring hope to another.

Putting things into perspective allows a heightened awareness of what the situation really holds. An extreme case is that of British physicist, Stephen Hawking, a brilliant man who admits he was enjoying his social life a great deal and did not focus on his studies until he acquired the debilitating disease ALS at 21 years old. He was not expected to live past 25 and is now in his 70s. This would be devastating news under any circumstance, yet Stephen Hawking said that without ALS, he would not have accomplished even half of his groundbreaking work, let alone rise to hold Cambridge University's Lucasian Professorship of Mathematics, a position that has been held by only 17 men including the father of physics, Isaac Newton. He said that the disease forced him to focus.

Now, think about how an initial bit of bad news turned out for the best. What were you able to accomplish that wouldn't have been possible without that unexpected situation?
It all depends on the context of the situation. Say you need to walk a quarter of a mile. If you're in good health, this is an easy task that is accomplished in minutes. If you have a problem walking, then it is a struggle to complete that short distance, it takes a lot longer, and results in frustration. How can the situation be dealt with to increase the joy in the experience?

If you insist on doing it without a cane, forcing yourself to push through without assistance, it is even harder. Add a cane, and it becomes a bit easier but still frustrating and slow going. Add a walker, and stability increases, along with confidence. Now, what if you added a scooter to the mix? The happiness quotient of traversing a quarter mile goes way up. It's easier, more enjoyable, and speeds up the process.

Are you making things hard on yourself? Is pride, anger, or hopelessness the construct providing context to your situation?

Exercise: Pick a circumstance you're struggling with. Consider the emotions associated with that particular situation. What is the root of it? Is it anger at another person or at yourself? Is it that you've given up trying? Is it that you feel you can do it on your own without the right kind of help? Once the root it identified, list ways you can modify how you're viewing the situation and what types of assistance would be appropriate to move past it.

Dealing with the symptoms (emotions) only puts a temporary patch on what's troubling you. Digging out the root is key to fully overcoming discomfort and entering into a happier view of the world. It increases your energy level, expands possibilities, and enhances understanding of what is in your life and how best to use the information held within the situation.


Diane Wing, M.A. is the founder of Wing Academy of Unfoldment, host of Wing Academy Radio, author of five books, and an experienced guide for those ready to see things differently. When it comes to getting unstuck and feeling great about life, her 9-word philosophy is: Let go. Be grateful. Stay open. See the magick. Find out more at www.WingAcademy.com

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Comment by Diane Wing on November 17, 2015 at 8:15am

Thanks, Shelly!  

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