We go to doctors to preserve and repair our health – but who can we go to in order to maintain and restore our happiness? There is no equivalent profession.
A therapist is not responsible for your happiness. In fact, it is someone most people only go to when they are already miserable. They associate the word with pain and suffering. You could go to a therapist before you are depressed, and they would likely help you maintain your emotional balance. But beyond a baseline of mental stability? That’s uncharted territory.
If there were someone professionally responsible for our happiness, I dare suggest we call them “felicus,” from the latin “felix” – happy.
You would go to your felicus for your annual check-up, and they’d ask you: “How happy have you felt on average this year?” They would prompt you to remember moments of joy, how often you laugh in any given week, and which factors contributed to you feeling calm and content amidst the busyness of everyday life.
Whenever you feel like your life is just trotting along, you’d go to your felicus and ask: “Felicus, what can I do to bring more happiness to my life?” They would suggest a gratitude practice, a slight change to a routine, or perhaps give you a creative idea that could bring the fun back to family time on weekends.
Where a doctor might help you survive, and a therapist might help you endure life when it gets tough, a felicus would make sure you enjoy life as much as possible while it is going reasonably well, which, hopefully, will be most of the time.
Until we have one in each village, however, that task will stay with you. You are your own felicus, and make no mistake: It may sound less urgent than your health, but when it comes to the one life you have, your happiness is serious business.