I’ve been thinking about Jimmy Fallon. The Tonight Show host has repeatedly injured himself of late; some reports posit it’s due to drinking. I have no way to know if this is true. But I’ve been thinking about him.
Ostensibly, Jimmy’s reached the pinnacle of a comedian’s career. And he appears to be having the time of his life making the show his own. If you’ve seen it, he’s quite affable with the guests and has expanded the format to include silly games and bits with the celebrities.
If he is injuring himself because he is drinking problematically—how is it possible that he’s struggling like this, given his success and the way he’s made it his own? How can the life of one’s dreams lead to this?
In social psychology, there is a body of research that appears to demonstrate a truism commonly accepted in the field. That people have a ‘happiness set-point.’ After very good things happen in our lives (a new job, lottery win) we temporarily peak, then go back to our set point. Similarly, downs due to bad things are also followed by an eventual return to baseline. In essence, the spikes and dips are temporary. Each of us is, on the whole, as happy as we’ll ever be no matter what we do and what is done to us.
Mindfulness may offer another interpretation, though. I, like the Jimmy I imagine, have experienced some very good things along my overall dream-life trajectory since May. From the outside looking in, I’m having the time of my life. What is there to feel bad about ever anymore, really?
That’s the kicker. You build a life that closely resembles your ideal. You live the most in flow and alignment than ever. And you discover it doesn’t matter. You still have ups and downs. You still have aches and pains. Contrary to the mantras you used on your way here, everything still isn’t okay. Not in the way you’ve imagined ‘okay.’
What do you do with that?
That’s the key: what you choose to do with that. You’ve reached a place where you can no longer delude yourself that anything in your life is going to free you. Do you cage yourself in despair at the thought or take that truth to heart and stop chasing things, feeling states, people, and circumstances? What do you choose to do?