I wake with a start. My recurring dream occurs again. It is really only a question. My dream asks how can people be happier?
I look at the moon. What I see depends on where I am, where the moon is, what the sun is doing and on many other things. I never see all of what I call the moon.
When I do something dumb, a frequent occurrence, I am not dumb on purpose. I think I am being smart. Later the outcome reveals that I was unable to see the bigger picture.
What war does not begin hopefully, with enthusiasm (on at least one side) and ends without tragedy on every side? We think we see, but we do not.
I am unable to see the whole thing. My vision is not very good. If I must look from a narrow viewpoint, I seek to look from the perspective of happiness. How much good will this anger, this impatience, this shiny object actually do me?
I am thankful for stoplights. They are a boon opportunity to practice patience. I might fail today, but tomorrow will provide another stoplight opportunity to gain a better happiness skill.
When my brain and other brains urge me to win a contest, not constructed with my happiness in mind, I try to remember to ask how long will this victory actually satisfy me? Will it be an hour, or even longer? How much good, will wining, or losing the argument, I am in, do me, or my opponent? Will the destruction of a heartfelt belief, however crazy, make me happy for ten minutes, possibly not?
Why not make the other person happy instead? Friends are more valuable to me than conflict, plus this approach is subtly subversive. Friends listen better than enemies.
I hope this is useful to you. The dream stopped, my answer, seemed to satisfy it.