The Type Of Happy You Never Want To Be
I was talking with a friend the other day when he said something that made my heart sink. My face naturally turned into that “man-that’s-a-bummer” look (you know the one: where your lips purse, your nose scrunches up and your eyes kinda squint?) and I audibly let out that short “mm” sound you make just between the walls of your throat when you pluck an eyebrow hair.
He was a young guy, in his 20s, and he said it so casually. It pained me to hear it, although it was nowhere near the first time I’d heard it.
He said, “I’m pretty happy.”
Even typing it makes me make that face again. Almost like there’s too much sun in my eyes and someone’s poking my heart at the same time.
“I’m pretty happy.”
“Pretty happy…?” what even is that? Like a 6 out of 10 on the happiness scale? Maybe it’s an 8, but it’s not a 10, and life is just too damn short for 8s and 6s, for “pretty” happy and “pretty” good.
We talked more and he went on to say, like most people my age (and probably yours too) that he “couldn’t complain.” He had a good job that paid the bills and even afforded him extra “fluff” to pursue his hobbies and go out with friends. He was healthy. He had a small group of friends and a supportive family. He was doing what he went to college to do and making “pretty good” money so he was “pretty” happy.
If you’re “pretty” happy, you’re openly admitting you’re not 100% happy.
There’s something missing, even if it’s a small something. There’s at least a half a percent between where you are and where you want to be. I’m “pretty” sure no one ever aspired to be “pretty” happy.
Here are some sad things about this scenario in order of least sad to most sad:
This guy was 20 something years old and already settling into a “pretty happy” life.
He was willing to stay “pretty happy” rather than try to go all in and be 100% happy.
He was aware of his less-than-100%-happy life.
This is how it starts.
I want to focus on that last one for a second: this is how it starts.
All of the 40 somethings, 50 somethings, 60 somethings, etc, etc, who are “pretty happy” are just grown up “pretty happy” 20 somethings. Or maybe they were 100% happy in their 20s and it was their 40s where they settled into the “pretty happy” life. Either way, the point is, the moment we start settling for “pretty happy” and “pretty good” is the beginning of the end.
I am watching so many of my peers begin their ends. They’re “pretty happy” with “pretty good” jobs because they have a fear-grounded belief that this is as good as it gets.
And that’s why I do what I do.
Who do you know that’s a “pretty happy” 20 something? I want to tell them "THERE'S MORE!" and then show them how to get it. It’s available to us all.
“Pretty happy” is mediocre, and mediocrity is just a gentle cancer. Don’t be “pretty happy."