It is sad not to love, but it is much sadder not to be able to love.

~ Miguel de Unamuno ~

Can Happiness And Chaos Coexist?

September 27th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 10 secs

Happiness or chaos?

Part of me would like to say that happiness and chaos are best buddies. If they were then our haphazard confusion, mess, and disorganized state could be waved away. With one happy sweep of the arm and a justifying giggle we could all be delighted living a shambolic life. But I know that’s not true.

Happiness can thrive in all sorts of unlikely places. And, while it’s possible to be supremely satisfied with life under a pile of detritus, the odds are that frustration and discord are going to get in the way of your joy.

When the place is a mess and you’ve given up ever trying to tidy it, happiness takes a hit. Even if you are quite comfortable sifting through last week’s pizza boxes to find your credit card, which got lost when one of the children rifled through your purse, increased chaos robs convenience.

Time wasted looking for keys, wallets, and whatever else also eats away at our coping reserves. One or two things going astray are hardly a drama. But when everything needed seems to missing, inconveniently out of reach, or mostly broken, pressure ramps up.

Think of your coping capabilities as a finite reserve. The more spare, the easier it is to appreciate life and find happiness in daily experience. But take too many hits and we start feeling a little fragile. Too much chaos and you might feel like you’ve gone three rounds with Mike Tyson.

Chaos is obvious when you see people living in a disheveled state. Some might even have the latest and greatest. But if they don’t know where things are and their systems don’t work, you can imagine their happiness is tussling with a huge amount of hassle.

Mind you, it’s not merely material. When chaos reigns in relationships, happiness takes a battering there too. Indeed, even our thinking processes can potentially create  enough chaos to rip through ambitions, and undermine achievements with disturbing ease.

Still, if life is locked down by predictable monotony, chaos can seem appealing. Dallying with the prospect of unpredictability definitely adds a certain zing, after all. Yet that’s what a healthy degree of direction should be inviting. Stability without fun and fancy is really code for being boring. So the finest organizing consciously keeps happiness in mind.

How does that work? Well, it takes imagination and knowing that being well organized isn’t about micro-managing life to death. Sensible preparation, should, for example, always factor in chocolate! Plus, room for spontaneity combined with good habits and systems that make life easier. Sharing chores, setting aside unstructured time, and being practical, help prevent daily chaos and nurture more prospects for happiness.

Personal and professional chaos can appear to be about order for order’s sake, productivity, or profit. Yet, when it all comes down to it, isn’t the pinnacle of being beautifully organized about creating happiness? When it’s purposed well, creating order to limit chaos generates immense satisfaction. To me, that’s more than neat. That’s a pleasure.

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