Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. You can click on the link if you’d like to see the full list of Monday Dares or learn more about its origin.
This week: Happiness is not a zero-sum game.
Let’s face facts: Sometimes, you have to ask yourself really hard questions about life like “Why aren’t there more churro stands on the street corners of Los Angeles?” or “Would it look natural if I went blonde?”
I don’t know the answers to these questions, but even if I did, I couldn’t share them with you. Why? Because I like to have a competitive edge, and if any of these questions ever came up during a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit, I would win and you would not win, and well….that would make me happy. Not because you lost, but because I finally won a board game. One board game win- that’s all I want in life. Ok, that, and more churros.
I once dated a man who was intensely competitive in every way. No one was exempt, including me. ”What?? You only got 247 miles with your last tank of gas?? I got over 300! Maybe you’re not a very efficient driver.” or “I made over six figures last year. How much is that job at the dry cleaner paying you again?”
He was especially fond of situations when a Win for him meant a deep and painful Loss for someone else. I could see by the way his eyes lit up and the corners of his crusty lips settled into a little smile that this made him truly happy. He made me believe that happiness and success were zero-sum games- one person had to be in the negative for another to be in the positive.
I don’t agree anymore. When you play by those standards, everything always ends up at zero. No one really gains anything in the end. Sure, maybe for a little while, you’re ahead, but the scale can tip against you, and then you’re on the end that’s fucked.
Everyone is given a chance to be satisfied and fulfilled and happy without being cruel or malicious. It’s a free ticket, I think, but one that needs to be put to use, or it becomes worthless.
I’ve been mindful about not only my own happiness these days, but also my practice in being happy for others. If I love you and good shit happens to you, then I am delighted and jumping up and down. Because there is more than enough goodness and happiness to go around.
Tell me something that’s happened or you’ve accomplished that’s made you jump for joy. Your kid finally sleeping through the night? A promotion? Kicked an illness? Met the love of your life? I want to be happy with you.
image via pinterest