Hey everyone, Dea here.
Today I had a rather interesting train of thought which I would like to share with you.
I was asked a rather interesting question today by my mother that I never really paid much mind to but if you think about it, it is actually very interesting.
'What would make you happy?'
It is a question we hear a lot and ask ourselves very often, probably more than once a day even. But what is it that makes one self happy? It certainly isn't a 'thing' that can just suddenly make us happy. Even if we chose something as answer for this question, would it -really- make us happy once we received or achieved it? Well, it cetainly will for a few moments, minutes or hours... but I doubt there is something like an ultimate goal that will make you happy for the rest of your life.
Funny enough, studies have proven that people living in 3rd World Countries, (and let's face it, they deal with WAY worse stuff than us rich kids do with 'I can't reach my mobile but I'm too lazy to stand up QQQQQQQQQ')
feel happier than rich people for example from the US or Germany,... But why? Compared to people living in tents in the bush, we should be really happy, right? I mean we have our comfy rooms, a bed, a laptop or computer, yummy food, good music,...
We all know the saying 'Money doesn't make happy!' but we counter it often enough with 'But you can buy things that make you happy with it!'
How does that apply here? Material posessions obviously don't seem to be the key... I mean, yes, I, too, squeel like a fanatic fangirl on weed when my game-imports arrive at my place, but even with almost endless suplies of money, rich people tend to be the unhappiest if you believe those studies... (those idiots with their fancy Dr. titles probably have no idea...)
I think one of the most important aspects of happiness is our focus. What are we focusing on? My doctor who helped me after my concussion always used to say 'Energy follows Attention'. He tried to tell me to focus on the brighter sides of what had happened to me rather than on the bad consequences... The bad consequences were just -way- too easy for me to see: Losing a whole year at university, my physical health decreasing, my concentration being on the bottom,... my focus was entirely on the bad side, which threw me into a depression last year, nothing making me really happy anymore because all I could see was the bad things and because of it, my health itself wasn't getting any better. When I changed doctors though and met said doctor above, she kept telling me to focus on the brighter things. What is brighter about a concussion with neral damage?! But by now, I -am- happy I had that accident.
Dea, WHAT THE HELL!?
Yea. I am happy I had that accident. I wasn't happy for a -very- long time with my studies but social and parental pressure made me continue studying dentistry even though I long before that accident knew already that it only made me miserable. Because I had that accident, I was able to take a break and contemplate for myself that this wasn't the life I wanted to lead. So in the end, that accident didn't bring bad things only, but actually something truly great: I managed to break out from something that had made me miserable for almost 4 1/2 years already.
Now I stand before the choice once more: I can either focus on saying 'Oh my god, I lost so much time, studying something I will never ever need in my entire life! What have I done!?' which will certainly make me miserable once more, or I can focus on the other side 'I have studied something for 4 1/2 years that I will probably and hopefully never ever need in my entire life, but not only is this the marker of my new life to begin, but also, I learned a lot of interesting things during these years, maturing myself and becoming a greater person that was strong enough to stand up again after being down. And hey, I learned how to kill a man without leaving any traces in those studies, so don't mess with me!'
I try focusing on the later and it feels really good. Of course, every now and then I also remember how much time I lost, but that's just normal, it shouldn't pull me down too much... because, seriously? It would have pulled me down WAY more if I hadn't broken out from there.
The same principle can be applied to many things.
'I can't reach my mobile but I'm too lazy to stand up! QQQQQQQQQ' You are focusing on the negative again... How about trying to think of it this way? 'Mhmm... I can't reach my mobile... ah wel, it is so comfortable here, I will just stay sitting. Maybe I feel more like geting up later.' Way better, isn't it?
We tend to focus on things that we can't have... so we believe that money will make us happy because then we can buy the things we want. But imagine it that way: The ones who have money to buy whatever they want, can't buy what they want because you can't buy it with money. Imagine a 50 year old single billionaire... I am pretty certain, on the outside that man looks as happy as can be, playmates surrounding him, having a yacht in Monacco, a villa in Hollywood, all the cars his heart could possibly desire,... but what about things that make people -truly- happy? Do you think that man can trust a single person? Anyone that surrounds them probably wants his money only. He is 50 and doesn't have children yet, his time more or less having run up. He achieved everything in life one can achieve... with 4 ex wifes that only wanted his money and no one to share actual warmth with. In movies and mangas we often see these kind of characters as happy on the outside bt hallow and empty shells on the inside... We have sympathy with them in such movies and series, but in real life we want to be just like them because we don't have to worry as much about leeches that don't love us but our money instead. It is way easier for us to develop something like a healthy relationship and family or even just friendship as our material posessions are not a focal point. Which brings us back to the study mentioned above.
Rich people might be able to buy material posessions easily, but they lack the deep dependant bond to the ones surrounding them. Don't like your buttler? Get a new one. If you are in a tough situation though in which you really have to depend on one another, those bonds grow into something so deep that nothing can break them.
The ultimate image of happiness is a mother with their baby. Why? Because the bond is so strong between them. That little baby in their arms probably wouldn't mind or care if it wasn't its blood-mother that raises them or another loving woman that feeds them and keeps them warm (foster parents for example. You can't tell me the baby is any less happy just because it isn't the original mother) but it is the fact that there is such deep trust, dependance and affection between those two, that leads to this feeling of ultimate happiness.
It is my personal opinion, so feel free to completely negate all of it, but I think what makes really happy is the meaning you give something.
A material posession is worth NOTHING when it comes to happiness if you don't give it a meaning. A laptop with a diamond-ornamented cover sure is... uhm... cool? But duh, as long as I can chat and RP with friends on it I don't care about how expensive that thing was. Let me give you another example on that one. I hate hate hate pink. And girlish stuff... I'm a tomboy at heart and don't give shit about gender roles.
Still, this year on my birthday, I got something as present that I completely LOOOOOOOOVE. It is a pink glittery pencil case with chibi kitties on it. When my parents saw it the first time, they wouldn't believe it was mine because I usually HATE that kind of stuff... but on my entire birthday it was this present and the letter accompanying it that made me the very happiest.
It was a present sent to me by my good friend *furesiya
for my birthday... and she even wrote in her letter that she knows I hate pink, but when she saw the pencilcase with the kittens on it, she had to think of our RP characters Ahriman and Anil. In an RP a few weeks prior, my character was turned into a black cat and ever since we had that running joke with the two of them being cats, Anil being a white one and Ahri a black one. That pencil case had two kittens on it... a black one and a white one in different poses. Be it playing together or making music together or one of them was that the two cats opened a gift box with a small baby kitten inside which represented their daughter Twyla.
I fell in love with the pencil case INSTANTLY. It made me so goddamn happy and it still does each time I take out my pencil from it because I am reminded of our characters and the wonderful memories and stories we share. She could have sent me the most expensive and fancy pencil case EVER and it wouldn't make me as happy as this pink kawaii desu pencilcase that I wouldn't touch with gloves on if it didn't have this very special meaning for us.
So, all in all (and in my own opinion of course), happiness isn't something that can be bought or achieved by doing something specific but it can be earned by chosing to find happiness. I want to find happiness. I'm not searching for it because you can only search for things that are known to me, but I want to find happiness in anything that can possibly come across me on my way every single day. I want to go through the world and find happiness by looking at beautiful art that touches my heart, by looking at puppy pictures on tumblr, by hanging out with my friends, by enjoying the sky outside, by looking forward to something with excitement, by pulling myself together and telling myself that I can overcome trouble if I just try a little harder, by crying over sad things and so being able to finally let go of them,... There are countless ways to find your own personal happiness. For some, happiness is to wake up in the morning and lying next to their beloved one. For others, happiness is to stand on the soccer field and trying their hardest, even if they don't win. Some even are happy just sitting down and having a yummy meal! You are the only person that can tell what makes you truly happy so you should focus on chasing that goal rather than looking at what pulls you down right now.
Do what makes you happy. And if you are going through a hard time, try focusing on the positive sides, look ahead at what you will be able to do after that hard time is over. It's also okay to tell others to shut up and stop complaining if they keep unloading their negative stuff on you (believe me I'm talking out of experience here... I'm on edge a lot atm because of personal trouble but try focusing on what will come after I'm done with all this... Right now I'm struggling a lot but I know it will be over soon. Still, doesn't mean I can't yell at my friends or parents when they try to shove their problems at me to relief themselves xP Saying No every now and then can make SUPER happy too...)
How to apply all of this on art?
A question I get -very- often is 'How do I become as good as you in drawing?'
Standard-answer: 'Practice until your hands BLEED.'
And standard reply on that: 'But I feel so miserable that I am so bad! I think I will just quit drawing entirely...'
I got to think back to about 2 1/2 years ago in those cases. Back then something happened to me that made me SUPER happy. When I was younger, I had my great idols in drawing, one of them being Hirano Katsuyuki, the artist of some of the games of my favorite series, the Neverland Games. I was always looking up to him and hoped that one day my drawings would look JUST LIKE his. The influence was (and still is) very heavy in my style and I worked toward becoming just as muhc of a great artist as he is. What made me really happy back then was comparing my pictures to this goal I had set for myself and seeing that I was coming closer with every new picture I drew.
2 1/2 years ago, I sat down once again, comparing one of my pictures to the style I was striving toward... and suddenly realized that I surpassed my goal. I wasn't fond anymore of that cute and innocent-ish style even though I had finally managed to achieve it. I still remember how I stared at my 'Gawain - At Heaven's Gate' picture and compared it to the pictures I wanted it to look like... just to realize.. that's not what I want them to look like anymore. I want them to look like even 'more'. On the next big work I submitted, I had started to try setting myself a new goal and path and once again that I was happy to follow, the success and happiness of achieving my first goal still present but by far not enough to make me sit down and enjoy it for the rest of my life. I get frustrated with my art very often too, wanting to throw the pen aside and just give it up all together... But then I remember the hard and long way I have come to achieve what I have this far. I remember how sad I was to hear from some of my artistfriends along the way that they are going to quit drawing because they are just 'not good enough' while I personally thought their works were amazing. Yes, it can be very frustrating when looking at some pros out there and then comparing it to your own works... But have you ever considered how many times they have thought the same? When they were at thevery beginning, what do you think their thoughts were? I am sure any beginning artist has at some point considered giving up. It is your decision though if you focus on the bad part 'I'm not as good as them and will probably never be as good as them ever.' How are you supposed to know if you don't try? Draw. Fill one sketchbook after another and compare how your works slowly but graduadly increase in skill and be happy about the improvement, even if its almost unnoticable to you, it IS there and it means you are getting closer to the goal you set yourself! And when you finally reached your goal, go celebrate... and then return home and set yourself a new goal to hunt after. Don't let lose until you managed and find joy in every step you come closer.
That is my personal happiness. That is what makes me happy. And no matter how down you are or how hard the times are at the moment, focus on what makes YOU happy... and tell all the nay-sayers and idiots that want to pull you down to shut up and leave you alone because YOU are the one who decides wether you are happy or not.
-Dea out-*rolls back to books and tries telling self that in 2 weeks its all over and that I can DRAW to my hearts content again* Q3Q