Over the years I have developed a method that adjusts my expectations of happiness to the realities of the moment. Creativity always seems to come up with the right answer.
Every where I go I hear that people can’t seem to get into the Christmas Spirit, yet stores are packed with shoppers and online Season sales record 16% increase. Whether it’s a money issue, a children’s issue, a religious issue or just the weather, it just seems that the Holiday Season this year, experiences a slow emotional start with a lot of people.
Not me. Beautiful Holiday Carols start up on the Stereo every afternoon and make their way softly through the house. Even though I’m not very religious, – spiritual is much better description for my beliefs -, I love Christmas and the Holiday Season. It’s ingrained pure magic. It doesn’t need snow or cold temperatures for – 2 decades in the Caribbean Islands made me appreciate beautiful weather and clear turquoise oceans as a Christmas Day blessing. It doesn’t need a whole lot of people around me either. Just a small group of my closest family and friends will do fine. Most of all it does not require expensive, ostentatious gifts that upset the budgets.
Over the years I have developed a method that adjusts my expectations of happiness to the realities of the moment, while at the same time I try to understand why so many people these days need a certain line up of “happiness” ingredients to be in place for most people. From the perfect gifts to the perfect turkey, to the perfect guests and perfectly behaving children and perfect weather. If we could arrange for it we would demand snow softly coming down on Christmas Eve, but have disappeared the next morning when it might interfere with our driving.
My method to avoid disappointments is simple: don’t expect! For me happiness comes from creativity. Whether that is creativity is producing, solving a problem or adjusting to situations, creativity is the root of all happiness.
Vincent van Gogh once said “Happiness… it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” Maybe van Gogh was not the best example I could have come up with when talking happiness, since he took his own life at age 37. So balancing this quote, he also said: “I put my heart and my soul into my work, and have lost my mind in the process”.
The keyword there is “Balance”.
Vincent was a lover, not fit for the times and its expectations. Don Maclean put it beautifully when he released the song “Vincent” in 1972 with the words: “I could have told you Vincent…. this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.” He was a creator of beauty that has given happiness to millions of people over the past 120 years. He may have only reached 37 years here on earth, but his creative achievements have become eternal.
Last Wednesday the European American Business Club took our local Trolley for a ride around the Christmas decorations on the island. Except of course at the historic landmark locations in off Citrona neighborhoods and John’s extravaganza on the corner of Diane and 14th St, it seemed to all of us that less people had Christmas lights up and decorations in their yards. It seems that we all need a good dose of Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas movie.
“Happiness… it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” We could use some of that advice, which is the reason I wanted to show you a quick 2 minutes video of amazingly creative achievements that make me happy. I hope it does the same for you and lift your spirits to go out there and shine some lights for Christmas.