I've always been a strong proponent of the Powers of Perspective. When one weighs things on the Relatometer, the significance of our actions, emotions, thoughts and other such abstract things become so clear. OK so you're pulled down by a particularly rough day, you're faced with that terribly blinding sorrow, the world seems a miserable place to be in, life basically appears horrendous, you could bash up someone, a boss or an aggravating friend, you know, the things we do when frustration becomes our middle name. (I sound like a cross between Oprah and a priest now).
You see people hit each other with road rage, a friend soaking in glumness for eternity, your Self hit by the blues all the time. That's when you have got to summon your Powers of Perspective. Ask yourself, "How does this compare to the unhappiest time in my life?" (But do not go on wallowing in that line of thought. That would just be suicidal.) More often than not you will realize the utterly unnecessary weight you attach to events. Two weeks later, this tremendous calamity may be shrugged off, so why rant about it as if it were the end of the world? Then go a step further (I should really stop preaching) consider would your unhappiest moment even compare to that of another person? I mean seen through the eyes of Perspective, does your chant about being so unhappy or dissatisfied or whatever grumpy emotion you're awash with really matter? It just makes you and everyone around you (and everyone around them...ever enlarging circles basically) weary and frankly, jumpy. In the face of such a realization (that your sorrows are not world altering and that, yes, as absurd as it may sound, you will survive to tell the tale) you have no reason to be anything other than content. Happy. There are bigger sorrows to be dealt with. Go and at least throw yours out.
I like living in a state of content and ecstatically content. It's like this taxi I once sat in with only two volume buttons. High and very high. I couldn't sleep but then neither did the driver. He didn't nod off, and I reached safely. Perfect. It's unnatural you seem to be saying to me. You can't be in a perpetual state of contentment, you'd wear out, get bored. It's like eating ice cream for all three meals. You won't like it anymore. You'll be sick at the sight of it. But I seem to find it fascinating to find new ways, new places to be content. It's like having a universe of flavours to choose from. (OK that's enough of optimism for a lifetime you say. I agree.)
I was once told that I was going to become a monk by the age of 30 : | With this brand of preaching, they'll ban me from any kind of monkdom.