a little east of reality

Thursday, July 27, 2006

survival of the adaptive

Here's an interesting little piece that was in our latest work newsletter.

Did you know there's a whole institute dedicated to the pursuit of happiness?

The people behind The Happiness Institute believe life’s too short not to be happy, and that you can choose to be happy if you want to.

The jury’s still out on that, but if you’re interested, you can sign up for a free e-newsletter with helpful happiness hints and quotes, such as the following ones about change.

Happiness Quote
‘It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.’

Happiness Tip
Turn change from a negative to a positive by:
- acknowledging the reality that things never stay the same
- taking constructive action
- focusing on all the opportunities that lie ahead
- capitalising on this as a time to clean out the old ways and establish a new and better future, and
- using the opportunity to enlist support and help from significant others.

I found this interesting...not survival of the fittest, but of those most responsive to change. When I first went to Japan I embraced all the new things in my life with some gusto and I settled into my new life easily. After two months I had a surreal feeling as if I'd always lived there, even though I knew in reality that it wasn't so. And yes, I was very happy there.

When I came home to Australia it was earlier than planned, after a job fell through at the last minute. I was sad to leave, and although I love Australia, resisted the change with every negative emotion I possessed. In spite of finding work and moving to a new state I lived like a hermit (helped along by the cold winter and lack of money) and wished I was back in Osaka. And it took me a LOT longer to be happy here than it should have. Which was crazy, because whether it happened then or a year later, the plan had always been to come home. I should have accepted the change of plan and dealt with it.

It makes such sense. Those who cannot adapt to change spend their lives living in the past, or in the future. They never know the joy of living in the moment, because the moment is outside of their self-determined comfort zone.

I may have to sign up for this 'happiness newsletter' just to see what else they have to say. I could stand a little more 'happy' in my life.