Coca-Cola has just released a Canadian version of their song “Open Happiness” (featuring Kardinal Offishall, Jay Malinowski of Bedouin Sound Clash, and the amazing Beatrice Martin of Coeur de Pirate). It’s a catchy little tune that ultimately is meant to help you equate happiness with opening up a bottle of coke. It’s certainly not the first time an advertiser has used happiness as a tool for sales – in fact, it is behind most pitch lines when you think about it just not quite so blatantly.
When I see happiness as a tagline, it always gets me thinking about the elements of that state of being. How can we really find happiness? Now, that is the question of many a philosophy debate and the motivation for most movements and religions – so I am not going to attempt to answer it here.
However, I do think that we loose sight of happiness the more deftly we pursue the things we expect to deliver it. So, I’ll borrow from the likes of the Dali Lama and Buddha to say that three of the key elements of happiness have nothing to do with physical things but rather letting go of the things you can’t control. These three elements are: being present in the moment; appreciating what you do have; and letting go of expectation.
Sadly, these things can be very hard to achieve and they alone won’t result in a full life of total happiness – especially when you are up against Western society and culture. But, if you can find moments of it…then you’ll find slices of happiness. So, can you find it opening a bottle of Coke? Listening to a jaunty tune? Rolling the dice? The truth is, you can find it anywhere – the real trick is to keep finding it over and over no matter what you are doing.