Everyone examines their life to see if they’re happy. If you have to zoom way in to find a happy life, and it gets worse the farther out you go, you might be hiding the big picture from yourself. If your life looks better when you zoom way out, then try not to sweat too much the little daily annoyances.
Happiness is one of those things that’s clearly subjective. There’s no good yardstick or litmus test to answer the question “Is this what happy feels like? Is this as good as it gets?”
Here’s a rule of thumb. When examining your life to see if you’re happy, it generally goes one of two ways.
Maybe you have to zoom way in to find happiness in your life. You take solace in an immersive book or movie. You enjoy the delicious bowl of ice-cream, or you escape to a quiet scenic overlook to enjoy the view at sunset. These are all worthwhile ways to stop and smell the roses, but be sure you aren’t zooming in to hide the big picture from yourself. No amount of little delights will magically solve broader woes.
Or maybe as you zoom further and further out of the daily grind, you find more and more happiness. You’re annoyed all day long, but come home at the end of it to a loving family and a comfortable home. When you take a moment to step back, you realize that all those life goals you’re chasing are coming true around you. If this is you, then why the heck are you sweating all the little stuff? Don’t let it get to you.