How My Pretend Boyfriend Helped Me Plug Into Happyness
Most of us are or have been at one time in our lives in pursuit of happyness.* If you’re over 30, you may be calling that a search for fulfillment rather than happiness. But the Pursuit of ‘X ‘ or the desire to plug into happyness is a persistent human longing.
The way we talk about this search in contemporary culture is to talk about re-imagining our lives or of identifying ways to connect our passion to how we actually want to spend our time. One measure of success is to see whether we are breathing new life into something that can be measured; or if what we are sharing gives meaning to someone else’s life. By my reckoning, this is what being plugged into happyness is all about.
This past weekend that feeling was brought on for me by the opportunity to meet Chris Gardner, AARP’s Ambassador of Pursuit and Happyness at AARPs Life@50 conference in Atlanta. Chris happened to be sitting across the aisle from where I sat during the Gloria Estefan closing night concert. This is the picture I got.
Here’s the secret about happyness and this random adventure. One of my friends and I have a running joke about who our boyfriends (in our heads ) are. Hers is Dennis Haysbert and mine is Chris Gardner. So imagine me sitting within distance of talking to him and getting a picture. Even though he was surrounded by young, well-dressed women and I was casually dressed, I was not going to miss the opportunity to say hello and to get my picture in the pursuit of happyness and in my desire to plug into happyness. Call me corny.
I made my way over two people. Chris was extremely brotherly in a way that a woman can appreciate and may I just say, in exactly a way that a black woman of a certain age would appreciate. That is to say, he greeted me with his eyes politely notwithstanding his “entourage” (I am speaking in code); and indeed as if his mother, Bettye Jean, had provided him with strong “spiritual genetics.” As I wrapped my arm around his waist, I felt very comfortable telling him he was my imaginary boyfriend.
Let Chris tell you what he is about in the video below. He speaks about over-coming obstacles and I think you will be able to feel me on what I have said above.
Everyone wants to be happy or to feel inspired. While I have been truthfully playful in my comments, I want you to know I am also very serious. “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” The Dalai Lama XIV said that. And you cannot spend your life searching for happiness unless you want to be unhappy and cuckoo. Someone smarter than me told me this and she happened to be my very own mother. You really have got to go with what makes you happy. And only you know what that is. Last week, meeting Chris Gardner was one of the small things that plugged me into happyness at least for that day.
Believe me however on the serious tip, that when I get my next chance to talk to Chris Gardner, I will be talking business. I asked myself afterwards, “Why didn’t you ask him if he would agree to be interviewed for this website? Why didn’t you ask him to mentor you into some type of ambassadorship where you too could empower older adults?” Well the answer is I was too happy.
Wouldn’t you want to hear first-hand how he started from where he was to make a change in his life so that you could do the same thing? You can read about it in a second book, Start Where You Are: Life Lessons in Getting From Where You Are to Where You Want to which was published in 2009. But it would be better here. Right.
So we shall see. For now, here’s to laughter. Tell me in the comments below, whether you feel me or not. And as always, please share this with others if you enjoyed this post. I would love to read your comments on the small things that make you happy.
*happyness = happiness