Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Do What You Really Find Fun, Not What You Wish You Found Fun

Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project revealed a truth to her that she found very helpful, but also sad: she often did things that she did not enjoy because she thought she should enjoy them. She concludes

Accepting my true likes and dislikes bring me a kind of sadness.  … First, it makes me sad to realize my limitations. The world offers so much! – so much beauty, so much fun, and I am unable to appreciate most of it. But it also makes me sad because, in many ways, I wish I were different. 
I think Gretchen Rubin is a more adventuresome person than I am.  She is sad that she doesn't enjoy many things that other people do. Rubin's list of what she wishes she enjoyed seems to be higher status culture items - classical music, vs. pop - rather than higher cost items.  I think her desire to appreciate beauty is honorable.  And realizing that some kinds of beauty just do not give her pleasure is an important kind of honesty.

I, on the other hand, have a long "Thank you, Lord"  list of things that other people enjoy, which I am grateful not to desire.  The list began with "Thank you, Lord, I do not want a boat."  New items get added all the time. Contentment with what you have, and counting what you do not desire, is the cheapest way to feel rich - and in that way, I am loaded.



Diane M said...

I'm afraid if I started thinking about all the things other people want that I don't, I'd start coveting them myself!

But I do like the idea of recognizing what you truly enjoy instead of what you think you enjoy.

Kerri said...

"It take courage to grow up and become who you really are." - e.e. cummings