Happiness lessons from a hot air balloon!

Happiness lessons from a hot air balloon!

If happiness is setting goals and working towards their achievement then I'm happy; because I've just ticked off one of the items on my "bucket list"! 

Thanks to the generosity of my friends and colleagues at The Happiness Institute I finally got round to utilising a birthday voucher my team gave me to take a ride in a hot air balloon. 

And I'm pleased to say it was awesome! 

It was a beautiful, if somewhat cold morning here in Sydney and although we headed out dreadfully early it was a very cool experience. Imagine yourself floating through the air, standing in a wicker basket below a large, in fact massive and colourful balloon! It really was quite special. 

But as is my want I didn't just sit back and enjoy the experience I also, as I tend to do, thought about what it all meant for my (and for your) happiness. 

And I came up with the following thoughts…

At times, the experience was magically quiet and peaceful and tranquil…utterly beautiful. At other times, to maintain our height and to control our direction, the pilot had to fire up the burners…and these are incredibly loud!!! 

The beauty and the joy and happiness we all experienced, therefore, were dependent upon the work out pilot did to keep us up which in turn was dependent on what was, in reality, quite an unpleasant noise! Further, there was only so much control the pilot could exert over our direction as the wind kept changing and ultimately, this determined the path we took. 

So what am I trying to say? Well, I think there's an important comparison that can be made here between the flight and between happiness and living a good life…

  • Nothing in life is smooth sailing

  • We don't have complete control over how we live our lives and we need to accept this

  • There's good and bad in most things

  • Accepting the realities of life, including the noise and limited control is important

  • That being said, we had a great and safe trip

  • Taking all this into account we did end up roughly where our pilot wanted us to end up

  • And at the end of it all? Some sparkling wine…!

So imagine me and my floating morning, up in the air, enjoying all the happiness an incredible experience like this can bring; or better still…do something like this yourself. And remember, happiness is enjoying the good times but it's also facing up to the cold hard realities…in a constructive way : )