Sometimes we do it, we adapt to something that does not make us happy, like someone who wedges on a shoe just because they think it is their size, and very soon finds out they can’t walk, run, nor fly…Happiness shouldn’t hurt, therefore it should not oppress, nor rub against or suffocate, but rather it should allow us to be free, light and masters of our own path.
Many years ago a soap company that marketed their products to working environments launched a product onto the market with a specific line that had a lot of success. Engraved on the bar of soap was the phrase, “Happiness is Busyness.”
“The world wisely prefers happiness to wisdom.”
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi emphasizes the idea that concentrating on a task with our body and soul can bring us happiness. Whether or not this task means anything to us should be added to this equation. Actually, many of the workers would look at the slogan on that bar of soap in sad irony, because not all of them were happy with the job they did, so while it would compensate them economically, it could not provide psychological well-being.
We could almost say with a certainty, that many of us forcibly adapt to our daily routines while being aware that they do not make us happy, like using the same brand of shoes, although they give us blisters. It is like being on a Ferris wheel that never stops spinning. The world and life below, excited and perfect, continues to happen, inaccessible and cheerful, while we cautiously stay in our routine.
We Adapt to Feel Secure
When we were children, our parents would tie our shoes with a double knot so that they would not come untied causing us to trip and fall. They would tuck us into our blankets and quilts with much care, they would zip our jackets all the way up so that we could be warm, taken care of and safe.
There were many times when we were uncomfortable with all that bodily pressure, but what we did feel was security. As we get older and acquire adult responsibilities, that need to feel secure stays with us. However, the indefinable tendency to look for security continues, and often leads our behavior directly by our conscience.
As strange as it may seem, the simplest way to address this need is with our brain. It doesn’t like change, risk, much less threats. It is what whispers to us to “adapt although you aren’t happy, because security guarantees survival.” However, and we should keep this very clearly in mind, adapting does not always go hand-in-hand with happiness, because many times, among other reasons, adaptation does not occur.
There are those who stay in their relationship although there is no love, without there being a trustworthy partnership, much less happiness. For some, what is most important is escaping the loneliness and to do that they do not hesitate to adapt to the size of heart that does not adapt to their own.
The same thing occurs on a secular level. Many people opt for keeping their head down. Someone docile, manageable, someone who lowers their skills and education when they prepare their resume because they know that is the only way to adapt to the company’s hierarchy.
It is as if a new slogan is engrained in our brain, just like the one on the bars of soap mentioned earlier: “Adapt or die, give up to survive.”
Now…Is it really worth it to die of unhappiness?