Things we love

Many of us have played the game: “If I won the lottery I would do this and I would do that.” Immersed in a fantasy world imagining what a dream life would be like; living in a massive house, driving an impressive car, and riding on a speedboat and travelling via private jet… 

We’d be on a perpetual holiday with lots of parties. There would be the opportunity to see exotic places and spend more time with our families. Then you remember that either the 14,000,000 to 1 odds are not in your favour or you’ve actually forgotten to buy a ticket.

It’s unlikely that any one of us is going to win the lottery. Anyway, love and happiness isn’t always connected to money and there is a distinction between what makes us happy and this thing called love. 

Happiness is transient; you’d get tired of smiling and laughing all day long and a balanced contentment that suits each individual is, well, just that… individual.  Perpetual happiness is unavailable as an option and most people realise that life is sometimes tough. 

“I often ask people, “When you’re motivated, energised and enthusiastic, who are you with, where are you and what are you doing? ”

Things people like doing are varied and individual. Apparently and according to a survey appearing in The Daily Telegraph the top ten things we really enjoy doing are:

  1. Intimacy, making love 14.20%
  2. Theatre, dance, concert 9.29%
  3. Exhibition, museum, library 8.77%
  4. Sports, running, exercise 8.12%
  5. Gardening, allotment 7.83%
  6. Singing, performing 6.95%
  7. Talking, chatting, socialising 6.38%
  8. Birdwatching, nature watching 6.28%
  9. Walking, hiking 6.18%
  10. Playing and being with pets. 5.8% 

There are invariably no right and wrongs about what is good to like and what is not good to like. As my mother used to say, “You can’t argue with taste.” She also used to say “Each to their own.” Which, in my opinion has tremendous validity. But do we, in reality, allow ourselves to enjoy and indulge in the things we enjoy or do we do what we ‘should’ do or tell ourselves we are ‘too busy’? 

“The things we like doing are usually obvious to us, but very often we miss them or don’t sanction enough time to experience them. ”

If you think on the edges of your imagination, on the peripherals and take a chance sometimes a new interest appears and this can often be refreshing and enriching to your life.

And why is it important to do more of the things we love? By doing more of the things we really enjoy and love, we are likely to release those feel good hormones and thereby find pleasure and a satisfied contentment. We are more likely to feel fulfilled and prevent ourselves feeling dissatisfied.

What things do we love? That is, in some ways a more difficult question to answer because love is a complicated word. Again, think and feel long and hard about your everyday life and answer as honestly as you can to the questions, “What are the most important things in my life?” and “In this world what do I truly love?”

In all the research papers I’ve read in the quest to uncover the answers to this subject of love, it is always deep and empathic relationships that head the leader board.

Just being in the moment with others who we love is what we truly love. 

Shane Lutkin has a Master's degree in Psychotherapy.

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