Happiness Part V: We Know Too Much

computers

Day in and day out, we are being bombarded with information.  Some of it will be correct and some of it will prove to be incorrect yet, we will absorb it all as though through osmosis.  Whether we are truly paying attention or we’re subliminally and subconsciously picking it up, we have most of that info, rumbling around in our brains somewhere and it’s acting upon us like a slow release pill, coming out in dribs and drabs. It’s likely that we don’t even recognize that info is there or that we’re utilizing it in one way or another.  Our brains are wonderous machines with a filing system that makes computers look like toys.  Reality is, we know far more than we need to know and it’s causing us both stress and distress.  It’s a road block to being happy.

Remember back a few entries ago when the scenario of children being happy was the centre point of that piece?  If not, you can review it here.  Part of the reason that children are generally happy is that they don’t know enough to be un-happy.  Not only have the brains of children not developed enough but, they don’t know enough to be upset, stressed, worried or any of the adult things that we, as adults, have come to learn to do.  They live in moment because they can’t really foresee much trouble in the future.  Ignorance is sometimes, bliss.

Let me give a scenario here that may help demonstrate that point better.

Two men are in a car, stuck on railway tracks.  They cannot move back nor forward.  The elder gentleman in the car has a form of dementia and is busily reminiscing about days gone by that he remembers with fondness.  The younger gentleman, fully able to compute the dangers of what is happening, is trying not to frighten the older man while trying to start the car again with no success.  Off in the distance, he sees the faint lights of an oncoming train and keeps trying to start the car, filled with panic now.  The elder man is completely unaware of what is happening and continues on his trip down memory lane with pure joy and delight, laughter and a smile while beads of sweat drip down the younger man’s forehead.  Finally, in vain, as the train approaches rapidly, the younger man exits the car, opens the door of the passenger’s side and drags the old man out of the car to safety.  The train soon demolishes the car into a tangled heap of metal before coming to a stop.  The young man tries to catch his breath while the elder gentleman simply says, “why did you stop me?  I wasn’t finished my story.”  Both men experienced the same situation.  The difference in their reactions were simply that the younger man knew what was going to happen while the elder man was blissfully unaware of the danger lurking down the tracks.

None of this is to say that we shouldn’t be aware of dangers or ignorant of facts nor, uneducated.  What it is saying is that we are overloaded with information that oftentimes, is false, misleading and most importantly, un-needed.  We can’t be child-like because we now know too much.  As a matter of fact, we know more than we really need to know and that, in and of itself, causes stress, distress and un-happiness.  We are now incapable of simply living in the moment and being amused with simple things like the taste of our coffee, the smell of freshly cut grass, the clouds that are floating past us above, the purr of our cat, the sound of a stream, a song that we love or many other of the most soothing and amusing things in Life.  Instead, we are analyzing everything silly, thinking about what lays ahead, how much damage it’s doing to us and the world, some study that proves that the caffeine in our wonderful tasting coffee can kill us or how the water in our bottle of water might pollute the earth or be polluted by the chemicals in the plastic bottle or wax that lines the paper take-out cup is toxic.  We’re usually reading or listening to the news which is filled with doom and gloom as that is what sells air/paper time and we’re using technology devices such as our cell phones to look up more crazy-making information.  The list is endless as to how information is slowly not only taking away our happiness and ability to be happy but, is potentially causing us stress that will or could kill us sooner or later.

How many shootings do we need to hear about before we can say, “there’s a lot of kids, killing others with guns”?  How many studies have we all heard, read or talked about that eventually get reversed or at the least, changed because newer studies have proven differently and yet, we’ve given up that great tasting coffee or bread or eggs and, it’s now not only ok to have them but, we find out we should have been having them all along as they’re beneficial to us?  How many car accidents do we need to see on the news at night with people we never met, don’t know and never will know before we get the idea that driving a car in today’s world and in traffic or driving distracted or impaired, can kill us? Do we really need 24/7 news stations that cover a story live and have “experts” on panel to discuss every nuance of the situation?

The bottom line is that we have far too much information floating around in our heads that not only don’t serve us beyond simply having a fact/knowledge but, are harming us in one way or another.  It’s all certainly a stumbling block towards being happy.

If you want to feel a bit happier,

  • Turn off the news or put down that newspaper
  • Quit Googling or Binging or whatever search engine you use for a bit
  • Turn off your cell phone or use it to actually CALL a friend or relative and enjoy talking to them instead of texting or ignoring them.
  • Stop taking every study too seriously because it will eventually turn out to be changed or reversed by another that will follow.
  • Either turn up your favourite music and sing or dance with it or, listen to the birds chirping, the stream sounds or your cat purring for a change
  • Watch a comedy or inspirational movie instead of a horror, police or crime show
  • Read a book or story with an inspirational message behind it
  • Buy yourself an adult colouring book and colour for a change.  Heck, get out the crayons and colour a child’s colouring book.
  • Ditch the “Know-It-Alls” who are walking encyclopedias but, are as negative as hell
  • Limit time with or eliminate those people who are bringing you nothing but headaches or demands for you doing something for them
  • Spend more time with people who make you feel good and most of all, make you laugh
  • Get silly. Roll down a hill, play with toys, splash around in a local pool just for the fun of being in water and weightless or buy yourself a teddy bear.  Seriously.
  • Stay out of your head and thinking for even an hour a day.  Just pay attention to things around you that are soothing and relaxing.  If you can’t find that, find them in your memory bank.  They’re there, believe it or not.
  • Be thankful for what you have right now even if it’s not your dream situation
  • Set aside a worry time of 20 minutes where you write your worries out into a dollar store notebook then shut the journal and tell yourself worry time is over until your next planned session then, get on with something light, silly and funny

These are just a few ideas.  There are plenty more.  If you’re going to Google anything, search for ways to have fun.

Stay light, stay laughing, stay away from people or information that brings you down to a stressed out level as much as possible.  Just be.  Be in the moment and enjoy the little things in Life.  Be happy!

Blessings, Love and Light from my little corner of life to yours.

 

Computer Shopping Can Be A Nightmare

I’ve been in what can only be considered by anyone who relies upon their computers as “Computer Hell” for the past month when my trusty HP laptop finally gave out its last legs and died on me.  I felt as though I was going through a mourning period but, had to replace it.  The question was, where to start?

If you talk to any nerd, geek or I.T. person, you’ll quickly be told that the days of anything computerized, electronic or otherwise, is now being built to last a couple of years at best.  It leaves one wondering how much they should spend on a computer given that it might only last 2 to 3 years if that long but, still meet your needs.

With that in mind, I contemplated getting the lowest priced computer available and consider its cost spread out over 2 or 3 years.  What could I live with, not only within my own mind, but also my wallet and budget?  I had a figure in mind and set out to grab anything that was on sale, seemed like a good brand name and would get me through a couple of more computing years.

That’s not, of course, how this quest turned out.

Think “being talked up”.  Not only was I talked to by sales people until I couldn’t think straight anymore but, they talked me “up” from one model, one brand to the next, assuring me that I’d be unhappy with anything less.  If that wasn’t enough, they spent an equal amount of time, trying to sell me software, extended store warranties that you know your computer will either not need because it will crash in the first few months while it is still under manufacturer’s warranty or, your computer will outlive the warranty and die 2 days after the warranty expires.

If you’ve done any computer shopping at all recently, you know that there’s the window’s based computers, tablets and off in a section of their own, the Apple computers.  Simply the name, “Apple” has you cringing and gritting your teeth because if you know anything about computers at all, you know that anything “i” or “Apple” screams out, “BIG BUCKS HERE!”  I truly believe that they should have neon signs with that logo lighting up the aisles for all Apple/Mac computers as I tried to avoid it like the Black Plague.

“I love my Mac”, many friends have said.  “I couldn’t be without it and I’ll never go back to Windows based anything!”

This seems to be a case of “once you’ve had a Mac, you’ll never go back” for these Apple loving friends.

In spite of my best efforts to avoid a Mac, I was led to them by every sales person I encountered in all of the stores I went into.

“They’re more money but, they last longer, come with software for basic tasks and…they never get viruses so, you’ll save on antivirus software. ”

I fell.  I fell hard for the Macs and purchased one after reasoning out that even were I to buy the software for a Windows’ version computer, by the time I required a new computer in 2 to 3 years (if I was that lucky), I would also need to upgrade the software so, the Macs made sense in my already muddled mind.

What ensued was a total nightmare as my brand new Mac began stopping programs, crashing and screwing up just after the 14 day refund/exchange policy with the store ran out.  Onto Apple’s Tech Support.  There had to be some simple explanation and fix.  After all, Macs are made out to be infallible by everyone who’s ever had one and every sales person in every computer store or electronic department.

Not so quick.  Apple is NOT what it makes itself out to be.  There’s an entire saga that goes with this story, best left to a separate piece but, suffice it to say that if you’re going to spend the money on a Mac, Apple or “i” anything….know that they are not the pure and honourable company they make themselves out to be or have sales persons try to convince you that they are.

Forewarned is forearmed…or…at least, that’s the way I see things from my little corner of life…wait for an explanation in my next entry.