Racing your way to happiness?

Racing your way to happiness?

I’ve just returned from an enjoyable afternoon during which I took my team to lunch and as part of which we watched the Melbourne Cup. For those of you who don’t live in Australia, the Melbourne Cup is our premier horse racing event and one that over the years has also become a significant social event. Almost all workplaces shut down for at least a few hours and many take the opportunity to have a fun day and dress up. It is quite literally, as the saying goes, the race that stops the nation.

It’s also a day in which literally millions of people bet literally millions (if not billions) of dollars on their favourite horses (even though most punters don’t really know that much about racing and even though it’s probably the toughest race of the year to pick the winner because of the incredibly high standard of competitors).

Now I’m not one who really enjoys or supports gambling (which unfortunately causes serious problems for some and ruins many lives) but I also don’t like to be a party-pooper. So along with almost every other Australian I strove for happiness by entering a few sweep-stakes (like a lottery in which you randomly pick a horses name from a hat and hope it wins).

Suffice to say I didn’t win.

But I did, like most of those around me, enjoy the experience and for a brief period of time, happiness was mine as I eagerly watched those beautiful beasts racing over the turf, hoping that my picks might be faster than all of the other glorious animals. And while walking back to the office I reflected on my experience and as I often do, tried to understand my (albeit short lived) happiness.

After some consideration I realised it came in part from hope – hope that I might win.

Now again, I don’t really support gambling but I do think that happiness does stem partially from hope. We all need something to look forward to; we all need to believe there’s something positive in our future. But let me add – it’s vitally important that this hope is realistic as unrealistic dreams will only lead to frustration and disappointment.

So my final thoughts are that if you want to experience more positive emotions, more excitement and more happiness, find something to hope for and keep it in the front of your mind as often as possible!

Let me know what you think…