The Flowering of Books

THE SEVEN DAYS OF HAPPINESS

They do say that you are only eligible for a few days of happiness as scattered throughout one’s life. A day of happiness, however, does have a high bar and a day of happiness means that you are happy all day, without any hint of sadness or frustration, no moments of doubt — and, so, you can see this is a very difficult day to accomplish whatever your nature. Or whatever your destiny. Or whatever your determination to be happy. In fact, I have found that an utter determination to be happy can be counter-productive, too deliberate, too self-conscious, and it becomes only too easy to fail, to falter at the last moment.

Happiness is usually an automatic emotion, something that simply happens, something that cannot be forced. Which brings me to considering the concept of trying to do things that you assume will make you happy, like being outgoing, like attending social gatherings, striving for goals, working hard as well as playing hard, doing good to others so as to make THEM happy, sponsoring charities, and so forth. And, oh yes, avoiding illness and various other tribulations. Optimising the possibility of good luck. Spurning bad luck. And so you can see, the more I go on about this, the more you will see how precarious this whole business might be, when you have to deal with things out of your control. Happiness is not within your own grasp. It depends on others, it depends on luck or fate, and some people believe it depends on something like God. So, let’s add religion to the balance, the act of prayer and faith. All to be factored into the complex search for happiness.

Well, I don’t know about you, but, during my life, I have sat down and thought deeply about this search, its complex ingredients and how best to ensure that you have as many days of pure happiness as possible. Not a straightforward task, I agree, and I have often scratched my head as I tried to work out formulae for all aspects of free will and fate. Yes, free will and fate, the two ingredients that cover a multitude of sins and virtues. Let us suppose there are certain qualities of happiness that actually depend on building on previous happiness until you can harness a trend of ongoing happiness that accumulates from sheer onward impetus and the sooner one can understand that, the sooner you will be able fulfil your goal of optimum happiness.

So, let’s get down to brass tacks. Starting with a sort of experimentation, what I call brainstorming, playing around with numbers and possibilities, permutations of hope and expectation. My favourite experiment is working out how many days of human happiness need to be consecutive to each other to ensure that the following days will be ones of pure happiness, too. My conclusion has come to fruition today, after several years of trial and error and that conclusion is that you need at least seven days of happiness to be consecutive before the trend of happy days becomes unstoppable, ensuring that the whole of the rest of your life is to be full of days of pure happiness, and the longer the period continues, the longer the period lasts. And yes, let me tell you, even death is postponed.

There, let me draw breath for a moment. I have reached the point in my argument that needs careful thought. One needs to come to a halt sometimes and think deeply about exactly what has just been said, what has just been thought, exactly what has just been concluded. Can there still be a moment when all hope dissipates, when the current day comes to an end without another day to follow it. Seven days of happiness, can they begin again where they first started, and become an endless circle of time, an endless circle of happiness? I’ll tell you next week.

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