I just stumbled over a post of James Clear in his blog. The entry deals with a simple rule of happiness in an African tribe. In a race where the first one reaching a box of fruits would take it all, the kids just took each others hand and reached the basket together and enjoying the meal with everyone. The reason for this blew my mind:
“How can one of us be happy if all the other ones are sad?”
Thinking about it she’s right. How can you be happy if you have no one to share it with? Like Jim Rohn also said:
“You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” -Jim Rohn
If the people around you are sad, they will make you sad too. So thinking again about the race, when you win the others will be sad because they lost and have to watch you eating all the fruits by yourself. Watching their sad faces will make you feel sad too – except you’re an evil villain. Now you could just leave them, take your fruits and search for other winners who also have fruits and be happy together with them. But what if you get into the same race with them again? At some point even when you’re always winning, you’re running out of people to surround you with. So why not take a step back and being a winner with everyone else together? Why is in today’s society everything about competition at all? (I guess I will have to make another post for this).
One day I experienced how crazy happiness and sadness can be transferred between people by just their mimic in their faces. I live in one of the rainiest cities of Germany and that day I came back from visiting my family and my train was delayed so my mood was kind of grumpy. But when I stepped outside the train station all the people around me where having a smile on their lips – I guess because it was warm and sunny for a change – it directly caught me as well. That day I realized that being happy is not just about yourself but mostly about the people around you.
Theoretically happiness is so easy to spread that way, make someone happy and you will get happy yourself. Then other people will see that cheerful smile on your face and intuitively mirroring it a little and maybe also your action if you tell them what made you feel good, spreading your happy mood more and more.