Do I follow a recipe to not be happy?

Contribution by Isabel Hernández Negrín

Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain

Very often we are given advice on how to live better, to be happier or simply to be more relaxed.  So, for all those people who think that the advice is not for them, I want to offer more ingredients to not be happy. 

  1. Believe that suggestions to change and be happy and consistent are for others and not for you. They are probably just for strange people who have nothing better to do. You know that you have better things to occupy yourself with.  Let those siren calls pass you by and busy yourself frantically with chasing those successes that really matter in your life, even if they cause you a heart attack or a high level of anxiety.  Life is like that.
  2. Cultivate laziness and justifications. If you once feel tempted to follow a suggestion to improve your life, give up quickly at the first sign of effort and justify yourself by turning to point 1: they are things for people who have nothing better to do.
  3. Run away. Avoid anything that takes you out of your comfort zone. Being happy requires an effort.  It makes you have to re-think lots of things and you already have your priorities straight.  There is nothing better than relaxing with a beer or something stronger and going out with friends to talk about trivial things that make you forget how stressed you are, at least for a little while.
  4. Fight, argue, express opinions and try to impose your views. Others probably do not know what they are talking about, because they do not have your experience of life. What is more, this way others will see that you are a person with views on everything, you always know what needs to be done and your self-esteem will remain high.
  5. Resist, do not settle for anything. Things do not have to be as they are, but as you want. There is always something to criticise; your partner, your children, your parents, your politicians, politics, the economic crisis, inflation, a colleague, people in general.  Do you see?  You are right, there is no reason to relax and be friendly.
  6. Identify yourself with what you believe and reject anything that is different. Actually what you think and what you have learned to believe, are the truth. Only accept people who think and believe the same as you.  The others are mistaken. Just ignore them.  Do not fall into the temptation of listening to them openly.  That may be dangerous.
  7. Blame others for anything bad that happens to you. It is good to live in society. In that way you will always have someone nearby to blame in the event that you become annoyed when something does not turn out the way you want or when something is other than you believe it should be.   Basically you know that you are right and others are just there to annoy.

Well, do not forget to practise all of this on a daily basis, without forgetting any aspect.  You will manage it.