Watch Your Habits

For They Become Your Happiness

Lao TzuAs I grow older, my perception of happiness has changed. It’s easy to dream of fame and fortune when you’re young and eager. It’s even easier when you grew up in a small town where everyone knows you for your achievements and good character. You’ve been trained in an incubator where you expect things to come easy. You’ve become a dreamer, not a doer.

Everything changes when you grow up. Once you move to the big city, once you understand that you are not special, once you realize that the majority of the human race is prettier, cleverer and better than you: It’s not fame and fortune you want.

It’s happiness.

For myself, happiness comes in small spurts and doses. The issue is that, when the world looks so bleak and you are so small, you want that happiness quick and fast. You want to relieve the pain, however momentarily, in the most simplest of ways. You listen to music. You watch TV. You eat chocolate.

You become dependent on outside forces.

For me, I’m slowly becoming aware of my shopping habits. I rarely shop when I’m not happy. This is a problem because, as Sorelliena explained it to me, I’m conditioning myself to associate happiness with buying things. I shop when I’m happy. Soon, I will be happy when I shop. Shopping, buying and coveting will soon by my music, TV and chocolate. This is the same idea as when I associated happiness to reviews and readership.

And it troubles me, very deeply, to be one of those people. Those people who go shopping, become materialistic and dull to the shiny things. It troubles me because I remember the time when I did not depend on outside forces for my happiness. I did not depend on music, TV, chocolate and shopping for happiness. I depended on myself. I depended on my own imagination, creativity and worlds.

Worlds inside my head and heart.

It’s all about conditioning. It’s all about self-discipline. It’s all about habits.

Just like how I hang my coat up when I walk through the door or exchange my shoes for slippers inside the house, I have to train myself to be happy when I’m writing. This way – and only this way – will I be happy for being myself. Because my writing is myself.

It’s a sad day when I’ve bought a beautiful new trench coat and feel nothing.

Nothing.

Even at 30% off.

I have to change my bad habits.

甄雪清

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