The Elements Of A Happier Life
Skepticism is a belief system that goes back hundreds of years, but it is in the 21st century it has really flourished. We’re constantly told not to believe the things we read. We’re told to doubt the mainstream media, to assume our government is hiding things and that nothing is quite as it seems.
Being Happier As We Mature
For the most part, this is healthy. It’s been quoted that learning to accept authority is a sign of maturity, but it’s more a sign of giving in. When we stop asking questions, real corruption can grow in an echo chamber without resistance. Our ability to doubt things is vital to our survival, from the very beginning of evolution. Doubting whether that tree can hold our weight lets us live to see another day, after all.
Losing Our Innocence
In the midst of all this, however, there is a feeling that innocence has been lost. Again, perhaps this is not a bad thing – but it frequently means that we lose our sense of wonder as well. This is something children cling to; their belief that anything can happen. It makes them the most open-minded of our society.
As we age, however, we quickly get that knocked out of us and the need for skepticism reinforced. There are even schools of thought that suggest being gullible is a weakness.
Our Sense Of Wonder
But is it? Is it not sometimes worth risking being gullible, if it gives you a little more excitement? If it brings back their childhood sense of wonder, that feeling that the world is full of possibilities rather than brick roads?
It is not mentally weak to, in the words of Fox Mulder, want to believe. That’s something we perhaps need to grasp hold of a little more often. Opening yourself up to things that might be possible at the very least, gives you the experience of finding they’re not.
Dismissing something – an experience, a product, a service – out of hand isn’t mental strength. It’s stubbornness. A famous quote suggests that first ideas are ignored, then ridiculed, then accepted into common thought. This has been true of countless things over the years. So perhaps you’re not being weak in wanting to believe, in consulting an online psychic, in playing with ouija boards. Perhaps you’re just ahead of the curve, and eventually, humanity will catch up to you.
Life can be miserable, full of things that can drag you down. Mental health issues; family concerns; worrying about finances. It can all become too much, and it’s no wonder that depression is one of the most common illnesses these days. In a world that tells you to doubt everything for fear of weakness, most of us are stuck with reality – and sometimes, it’s pretty grim.
How do you mix them together then? You don’t want to become too skeptical, lost in the feelings of doubt. You don’t want to deny yourself experiences that might go along with belief or feel too cynical for your own good.
But at the same time, it is a hard-won ability to be able to doubt things. And there’s a good reason for it, too. There is a saying that encapsulates the problem: “fool’s gold only exists because the real stuff does.” So are you seeing fool’s gold where there is something to be enjoyed, believed in? Or is it best to presume that all gold is of the fool’s variety, as it’s better to miss out on things than find yourself fooled?
There is no easy answer, and it’s something you can only ask yourself. The harm question we posed above is a pertinent one. Does something hurt you or someone you care about? Does it endanger you financially in a way you can’t recover from? Is it exploiting anyone who is not aware of the situation?
Also look for others that have indulged their fascinations and see if they wish they had not done. Take people who have their tarot cards read. Talk to them and ask if they wish they had not; most will have enjoyed the experience. Many will even repeat it. It’s unlikely victims of true scams would say that; so it’s all about adapting your thoughts based on the experiences of others.
So for your self-confidence and appreciation in life, expand your mind and find the ability to say it’s okay to live happier. So long as no one is getting hurt – you included – then what’s fervent belief in the spirit world or aliens going to harm?
Go through life with a sense of wonder, and you’ll have a happier, more fulfilled time doing it.