We’re constantly bombarded with bad news, with endless to-do lists, and so much information that it makes our heads hurt. We’re moving too fast and don’t always know where we’re going. We have daily suffering and existential pain.
Is it too much to ask to find happiness?
There’s been a lot written on happiness. We’ve been told not to expect it, but it seems to be human nature to seek it. One of the major tools used to capture happiness is a positive mental attitude. In theory, we can understand that maintaining a positive outlook colors our experience of the world, both internal and external. In practice, creating and maintaining this attitude is much, much more difficult.
What we need is a Happiness Ninja – a secret weapon to help us fight the fight with the big, bad world (and our own big, bad thoughts). Your Happiness Ninja is your secret good-guy that infiltrates your brain, sabotages your bad moods, and assassinates your negative self-talk. She’s your own personal secret service agent, but stealthier. Since she’s invisible, you can take her everywhere with you – protecting you from anything that might bring you down.
The great thing about a ninja is that she doesn’t play by the rules. She answers only to you, concerned only with achieving her mission. She doesn’t care what she has to do to get the job done. She will make you happy. Life would be easier with such an effective weapon in your corner.
Here’s why I like the idea of a Happiness Ninja, and exactly what she can do for you.
- She gives you permission to put yourself first, or at least to consider yourself and your wants and needs. We’re so good at considering others, and have trouble with considering ourselves. So put a helpful other in your own mind and consider her before making decisions.
- She makes you answerable for your thoughts and actions. When you are in a funk, doing something you know isn’t good for you, or you’re slinging throwing stars against your soul with hateful words, she will show up and stare at you through her black mask. “What, exactly, do you think you’re doing?” she’ll whisper. You’ll be forced to retreat – or else.
- WWND? Since she’s committed to your happiness above all else, you can use her as a check-in point. What would Ninja do?
- She’s kick-ass. When you’re feeling weak, sad, and beaten down by life, who doesn’t want a kick-ass alter-ego to slip in from the ceiling a nylon rope and clean up the place?
But where, exactly, do you go to get a Happiness Ninja? I mean, it’s not like they sell them on Amazon or anything.
The good news: You already have one. But the bad news is that she’s been captured by enemy spies and is very, very weak.
You see, much of the time we have been taught that in order to play nice with others we must sacrifice our own needs. (This is a tricky balance, because community, collaboration, and kindness are valuable as well.)
But often we put other’s needs ahead of our own without actually thinking about what it is that we want for ourselves. When we do this, our Ninja loses the fight. She’s been losing for a while now. In order to make her strong again, you have to put her back to work.
Ninja at Work
When your Ninja is back to work, she’s doing her job of protecting you from decisions, situations and people that are toxic to your happiness. She slides into the room when you start beating yourself up and reminds you of the mortal danger that you’re putting yourself in. She eavesdrops on the conversations you have to make sure everything checks out. When your Ninja is back into top fighting shape, she’ll slip into your brain, unseen and unheard, set off a bomb on negative thinking, and remind you how awesome you really are. You might wonder, “What just happened?”
It was just your Ninja.