Are you looking for something to make you happy?
I’ve been to see the film “Trolls” with my kids twice at the cinema. I think we went the first time to find something to do on a wet Saturday morning, and we loved it so much we went again. I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it yet, but the grumpy Bergens believe their only way to happiness is through eating a Troll.
Only one way to happiness?
The Trolls are the opposite of the Bergens. They are joyfully optimistic, and every hour they spend time hugging each other. They love music and dancing, but in the end this gets them into trouble. On the other side, the desire of the Bergens to eat Trolls dominates their every waking moment.
This got me thinking. Obviously, “Trolls” is a feel-good film that is fun for families, but there is a deeper message. Rather than running away to safety, Princess Poppy tries to help the Bergens understand that eating Trolls isn’t what will bring them joy: “Happiness isn’t something you put inside, it’s already there. Sometimes you just need someone to help you find it.”
What is it that we think will bring happiness? Often we are looking for something external. If we move house, we will be happier. That new job will bring us contentment. If our children get in to the “right” school, we will all be happy. Having a newer car will reassure us that we won’t break down, and surely we will be happier then.
Finding happiness externally?
People who win the lottery tend to have a period of time where they are happier than they were beforehand, yet they go back to the same levels of contentment a year or so later. We might think that getting what we want will make our lives better, but most people are always striving for more, more, more.
When we spend our lives looking for something external to bring us happiness, we forget to enjoy the little things. We forget to look around us and be thankful for all that we already have.
Finding the joy in little things
A life fill just with singing and dancing isn’t going to bring us contentment, either (although a bit of a boogie can do us good at times!). There needs to be something deeper for us to be fulfilled. Our connections with the Divine and with those around us can lead us closer. Rather than looking outside for happiness, we need to take stock and try looking within instead.
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