Let’s imagine you and a hundred people are put through neurology tests that reveal how happy you can be. Doctors use a specialized radio ligand for neurotransmitters, C-DASB which binds to the serotonin transporter to measure the serotonin level and they collect cerebrospinal fluid, measure phenethylamine using urine samples…. (Medical jargon ends here).
In simple terms, they measure how happy your nature allows you to be and they conduct those experiments on for years on subjects.
They grade test subjects from 1 to 10. 10 being close to mania and 1 being miserably depressed.
Subjects are put through more tests.
Adam measures an average of 6 (give or take) on an ordinary day, week or year.
Here is where it gets interesting. Adam wins the lottery (all are set ups perhaps) and his happiness level rises up to 8. While sitting on easy earned money, he is clearly happier than before. But, in a short period of time, Adam gets used to the new life and his happiness level goes down to 6 again. Then Adam faces a trauma, a loss, his level goes down to 2, but, after a while, although the circumstances haven’t changed, he is back to 6.
Of course that test is not that simple. Adam is just a name and those tests have been conducted on many people over a span of many years.
So, what’s the point?
- People can get used to almost anything. We adapt and move on, life goes on. Because we are great adapters, we are still here, running the earth, running on earth.
- Second point; we are as happy as our nature allows us to be. Just like our perception of reality varies, so does our level of happiness. If you are an 8, you remain an 8. Nurture plays up and down the number for some time, a week, an hour, a year maybe, but again, we adapt and get back to our original score.
‘Wherever you go, you take yourself with you’ just made sense again.
I have a friend living in London, great luxury home, adorable kids, loving husband, abundance of everything… she should be happy, right? That idea kind of changed when I found anti-depressants in her cupboard and we had a long talk over wine on her garden.
Another one, living in Florida. She has been there for 7 years now. Great job, great home, pets, a crazy love life. It has been her dream to live there. She did everything she could and moved. Most people look at her with envy. No need to say more, anyone can guess what comes after this.
I’m not talking about being dissatisfied with everything or simply being a spoiled brat that you cannot appreciate what you have.
Those people appreciate and value what they have. That’s what keeps them going. They go on with their lives, do their best and hope for the best.
What I’m talking about is the nature you have, the level of serotonin your brain can produce and how well the neuro transmitters do their job.
I might be completely wrong, but I believe you have a certain potential. Your number can go up or down in certain situations, during certain periods based on what you are going through or obsessing about. But you remain within your potential. It effects your observation, decision-making, reaction, action, perception and where you put your attention. If you are a level 8, traumas can shake you while they are there, but once they are gone and the effects wear off, you go back to your original self.
I don’t know what level I am or how high my best is but I value excitement and comfort blended and balanced deep within more than happiness. I find comfort in the dark and excitement in little sparks that light up the in the dark.