There is this preoccupation in society today about feeling good. About always needing to be in bliss. About needing to “feel” positive and content. About feeling happy in general.
It’s nice, I guess. After all, who doesn’t want to feel good all the time. Every day, every hour, every second of their existence. It’s natural and I guess that’s just human instinct.
But how often in life do we really actually feel good every single moment? How often do we always do what we want to do?
Isn’t there always a couple moments during each time of day when we feel stressed out, anxious, and generally just down?
I’m no stranger to these feelings. Sometimes, I can have a down day. Or a down moment. I would feel perturbed and annoyed at something happening externally around me. How could you not?
Sometimes, I’m preoccupied with the need to feel good that I end up feeling bad when things don’t happen the way I ideally plan it to happen. Even when you expect something to go wrong, it still ends up biting you and making you feel bad.
So, what exactly is with this preoccupation of feeling good? Sometimes, I am told, that the more we give back to society, the better we feel within ourselves. The more positive feelings and energy will emanate from within us.
But, sometimes, honestly, I don’t feel that “goodness” when I give back to the community. There’s a slight surge in adrenaline, but other than that, life is fairly normal and non-ecstatic. But, does that mean that I didn’t do the right thing? That I somehow messed up the feeling? That there is something wrong with me?
I’d argue that most of the things in life should be done for the sake of doing it. Not for the sake of feeling good. Whether you are giving back to society, making a charitable donation, or simply eating a piece of candy, the goal is not to feel good. The goal is to simply do it for the sake of it.
There’s no need to be preoccupied with how an action “feels”. The feelings are transient. They will come and they will go. For better or worse.
I think many people get too attached with how they feel in the moment. And they label the action or event they are experiencing as “good” or “bad” - dependent on the feeling they feel at that very moment.
It’s not their fault. Because everyone wants to feel good all the time. But, this preoccupation with feeling good can be very limiting in some aspects. It can cause us to chase after only the pleasures in life, when in reality many of the things that should be done don’t necessarily “feel good”.
Stuff like taking care of your family, paying the bills, taking out the garbage, and washing the dishes. These are all mundane tasks that need to be done more or less, but don’t necessarily generate the feeling of happiness from within.
Although, I’d have to say, that these tasks are just as (if not more) important as the tasks that generate happy feelings. Most things in this world are done simply because they need to be done. And often times, that should be enough.
The preoccupation of feeling good can also blind us into doing what we think is right for the short-term, but not necessarily is right in the long-run. It can lead us to chase after drugs, alcohol, or the consumption of other materials that can lead to detrimental health effects. All for the sake of a feeling.
I remembered how I was ecstatic for the first months of my college years. As a freshman, I thought that the sky was the limit. That I would feel this way forever and ever. That my life was made, and that I had everything I could ever want.
But, gradually, that feeling of ecstasy dissipated as the months (and schoolwork) dragged on. And I was back to feeling just normal. And for a while, I was trying to grasp onto that feeling of initial ecstasy and wondering how I couldn’t feel that anymore. I thought there was something wrong. That I shouldn’t be feeling “normal”.
That somehow, I should be feeling “happy-go-lucky” all the time. And that is a tricky slope to handle. You’re not going to be feeling good all the time. That’s life. And many of the fundamental good things in life don’t necessarily lead you to “feel good” about yourself. Sometimes, they just need to be done because that’s what is called for in the moment. That is the right thing to do, and that is it.
So, no worries about your feelings. Sometimes, you’ll feel good. Other times, not so good. What matters at the end of the day is that you do things for the sake of doing it. For better or worse, the results will follow, and you can live with that.