By Gavin Oattes
I’m going to begin this piece with my favourite quote from none other than the legend that is Macaulay Culkin…
“I’ve yet to find a level of enthusiasm that tops “Holy shit look at this giant potato chip!”
It’s just so true isn’t it? Whoever you are, wherever you’re from, if you pull a massive crisp out of the bag you are absolutely going to turn to every other person in the room and share the outstanding news that you have pulled a gigantic piece of fried potato from a bag.
And if you’re on your own you’ll take a photo of it and send it to everyone you know, and if you’re particularly chuffed with your findings then you can, of course, share it with the entire human race on social media.
I love the fact that we can pull something so simple from something so ordinary and feel such a sense of joy. It reminds me that occasionally in life we need to reach into whatever situation we find ourselves in, and pull from it something that lifts us and those around us.
And of course, we could do with a bit more of this right now. But it takes effort.
I have a mate called Andy and he’s a doctor. An actual doctor. Well, not a regular doctor. But he is a doctor. He’s a doctor of happiness. Yes, really. In fact he’s the UK’s first ever doctor of happiness.
So basically he’s not the kind of doctor that tells you that you have the common cold. He’s way more exciting than that. He’s more the kind of doctor who tells you that you have the less common ‘Warm’.
Now, I’m not sure if you’ve heard of the ‘Warm’ before, it’s this thing we all have in-built from birth, but unfortunately many of us forget how to do it. It’s our ability to see good. I don’t mean 20/20 vision, I mean to see the good in all we experience. E.g. to see the warm in all people, Mondays, work, failure, getting older, all situations. Especially the situation you’re in right now. Like, right now.
The Warm gives you the ability to turn things around. A day, a relationship, a career, a life. Other people’s lives. Anyone’s life. Even yours. The best bit about the Warm is that it’s hugely infectious. Catching. It spreads with great ease.
The Warm is incredibly easy to diagnose and sufferers tend to spot signs of infection early on. Those closest to you are likely to spot it every bit as quick. In fact if you’ve been struck by the Warm it’s highly likely that they too are experiencing the symptoms.
Among other things these symptoms include smiling, energy, laughter, positivity, the desire to do stuff, fire in your belly, friendliness and the dreaded alternative dance outburst.
So, my mate Andy may not be a doctor in the medical sense but in some ways we can all be a Doctor of Happiness.
If we want to.
It’s essentially a mindset, a choice. You can alternatively wake up every day and choose to see the Cold in everything. Or not.
As Doctors of Happiness we don’t need to diagnose anyone with the flu, that’s for medical Doctors. We could however diagnose the ‘Full’. There are no flu jags here but we couple all do with a few more shots of the Full.
Not sure if you’re heard of the Full? It’s how you feel when life is good. Full heart, full energy, full relationships, a full cup. But not a cup just half full, full to the top. The brim. The white hot and passionate brim.
I’m definitely not suggesting physical check-ups either. Keep your hands to yourself. Remember, you’re not an actual doctor. But definitely prescribe massive rockets up the ass.
Not sure if you’ve ever had a rocket up the ass. Not literally. Not a real one, you’d break. Actually, you’d definitely 100% die. A metaphorical rocket of course. Life changing at worst. As a Doctor of Happiness you can dish them out.
How do we do this? With love, kindness, positivity, energy, respect, enthusiasm and cuddles. Yeah, you heard, cuddles. Cuddles make the world go round. Don’t even try and deny it. And they are worth waiting for during a pandemic!
Dish out those rockets as soon as it’s safe to do so. Rocket cuddles on prescription. Fire them up and point them in all directions.
Rocket cuddles might sound silly but if you Google ‘How to be Happy’ or ‘What Makes People Happy?’ then you’re going to find millions of pages rammed full of all sorts of weird and wonderful ideas. Some will be perfect for you, some will perhaps be of less help or not particularly up your street and some will be pure happy clappy tripe.
You’re definitely not going to find anything about Rocket Cuddles but what you will find though across the internet is definite themes emerging. Among them, themes of simplicity, living in the present, gratitude, kindness, healthy food, sleep and exercise.
Happiness will likely always be treated by most as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the light at the end of the tunnel, as an everlasting chase, a Gumball Rally of sorts, a crazy competition among us all, a race.
There’s no chase and there’s certainly no race. And as soon as everyone realises this the better. It’s not about how busy we can be or how much money we can make. It’s not about the size of your house or the type of car you drive. No one cares and when you die none of this will be discussed at your funeral. People will be too busy discussing what kind of human you were. You’ll either be remembered as one of the good guys, or an arsehole.
My pal Dr Andy reminded me that for as long as I’m alive, I’m there. I’m stuck with me, so I might as well be the best version of me I can be.
The world has been in a weird place for some time. If there was ever a time to reach in and pull from it something uplifting, something worth sharing… It’s now.
Various, MADE magazine