What I am usually, and guess most of us are if we put our joyous days on a scale beside our foul, angry days, is staid. Neither here nor there. Somewhere in-between. I have a friend who once told me that “I’m not happy unless I’m miserable”. I bought into that motto as true because being unhappy or miserable gives me drive. It gives me something to feel strongly about; a battle to win, a story to tell, some thing to fix.
Being unhappy means there’s work to do.
If we are at rock bottom; if there’s no place to go but up, then it’s easy to know what path to take, since there’s only one! Whereas, if we are satisfied or content, there is definitely a direction events could take – – down. Because we often rely on Murphy’s Law, we expect something to shatter our brief happiness anyway, since joy is never long-lasting.
Angst gives us purpose. I heard somewhere long ago, there is a theory that once we’ve reached our life’s goal…our individual mission being fulfilled, we die. Like Sarah Winchester believed, if she always had something to work on, something in progress, she might just live forever. (By the way, she was wrong. Maybe if she had tackled projects worth doing, instead of building stairs that led to doors that led to nowhere….but I digress.)
Who are we, without the struggle? The greatest figures had the toughest struggles…think MLK, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, etc.
Do the things we want the most come easily? No. At least for me, they are work. Unhappiness is pivotal to change. The desire for change inspires work. The work creates accomplishment. The accomplishment creates joy. The joy is momentary and fleeting, but a teaser to keep us working toward that seductive feeling again.
If you follow my line of reasoning, then, isn’t it necessary, even better, to be unhappy? Otherwise, we would never achieve. We would never even try.