Stop Creating Monsters and Take Charge of Your Emotions
“I have ventured to paint my happiness on the wall.” — Nietzsche
When was the last time you dared to do something intrepid and risky?
No, eating those leftovers from last week does not count.
Nietzsche VENTURED to paint his happiness on the wall of his life. This is daring behavior. Becoming responsible for your own happiness is the kind of behavior that requires guts and audacity.
It’s so much easier to blame someone, anyone, for your misfortunes, shortcomings, and unhappiness.
“I’m not happy because she left me.”
“I’m not happy because my boss yelled at me today.”
“I’m not happy because this weather is terrible.”
“I’m not happy because (fill in the blank)”
We all have plenty of reasons for not being happy… and most importantly, we have plenty of people to blame for it. It doesn’t have to be someone you know and love (although they’re usually the perfect target). It can be the concept of a person, a whole country, or the government. When it comes to escape-goating, we’re never short on victims.
Nietzsche argued that some people crave suffering. They’re constantly looking for it. You can place these people in paradise and they’ll find something wrong with it and someone to blame for it. “This perfect weather is making me feel imperfect!”
And as the good book says, “Seek and you shall find.”
We’re all looking for something, whether we know it or not. People who crave suffering aren’t aware that their brain is constantly scanning their surroundings looking for reasons to complain. They do it automatically, completely unaware of the damage they’re causing themselves and those around them.
”People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
And the more they seek, the more they’ll find.
“…their imagination is busy in advance to turn it into a monster so that afterwards they can fight a monster.” — Nietzsche
These people revel on turning every circumstance into a monster, which they will then, heroically, have to fight. But it all boils down to a simple truth — they depend on external circumstances to dictate their emotions. They always need others.
However, Nietzsche encourages us to use all that energy for our own well being. He wants us to stop outsourcing this important task. Instead, if we’re willing to take responsibility for our own happiness, we will find many and varied reasons to keep a smile on our face. Sure, we won’t always be elated and ecstatic, but we won’t be helpless, because our emotions will always depend on ourselves.
Go and find reasons to be happy today, and dare to paint your happiness on the wall!