I’m relatively happy as I am and am not given to great happiness or great sadness. I used to be unremittingly optimistic but a few problems sorted that out for me and I saw things a little more realistically.
A few things have given me great pleasure and these have been a “light off, light on” moment. One thing was simply being told the answer to a strange thing has puzzled and still puzzles art historians. I was given the answer with evidence and proof so clear that I was fascinated by the research and undeniable conclusion. I felt privileged. I now am waiting for the researcher to publish, but his attitude is, “Let them spout artsy-fartsy garbage, we know the truth."
Another moment of great pleasure was the change in one of my sons who had been ill and suddenly, really suddenly, recovered; the worry that beset me lifted. “Light off, light on” moment.
Both of these were points where I had had a worry (-1) and then I was back to normal (0) – the relief at being normal was tangible.
To me, this is know as “The Davis
Effect” Davis worked in the same job as I, and was average to good at the work. He drank hard and worked hard and had a mildly chaotic life. One day, he did not appear, his ‘phone went unanswered and people were sent round to his house to see if he were OK – he wasn’t there. None of his friends knew anything. 3 months later, he was found working in a bar 200 miles away. He had had a breakdown and just disappeared. My employer invited him back; he accepted and a year later he was promoted, although basically he was simply the same worker that he had been before the event.
Analysing the Davis episode: we had a score of zero before the breakdown, a score of -1 when he disappeared and a score of zero when he came back, but such was the change from worry and concern to normality, that he was considered wonderful and was promoted. (He was a good boss and nobody objected but he basically had not changed, and if he had not had the breakdown, then he probably would not have been promoted.)
So the best happiness is when something that was wrong becomes normal. People like normal.