Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Is it better to look good or to feel good?

A certain topic on the writer's site I frequent got me thinking.  It dealt with the aging process and how people feel about milestone birthdays: turning 30, 40, 50, etc.  Also, the question of whether it's better to "look good" or to "feel good."  Or does one guarantee the other?

Let's suppose a person takes good care of herself.  She eats healthy foods, gets plenty of exercise, enough sleep, watches her weight, protects her skin from the sun, etc.  Let's say she does all of these things but has a job she hates or no job at all.  Let's say she looks good, too.  Do all of these things she's got going for her matter if she's basically not happy or fulfilled?

Now let's counter that with a person who eats anything and everything, barely exercises at all, gets either too much or not enough sleep, is overweight, doesn't even own any sunscreen, and doesn't put much effort into keeping up her appearance.  But this person has an interesting/fulfilling job or career, so she's happy, she "feels good."

Is it possible to have it all?  Is it necessary to have it all?

I once read an article about Halle Berry, a beautiful actress.  In it I was shocked to learn that years ago she attempted suicide. I simply could not fathom why a beautiful and talented woman would want to end her life.  And even though the cause of her depression was a failed relationship, it still made no sense to me.  She's Halle Berry, I kept thinking.  She could have any man she wants.  Why would she not have enough self-confidence and self-worth to rise above her troubles and keep going?

But this is the mistake many people make--we judge others by what we see.  We see the exterior and have no idea what's going on inside the person.  If someone doesn't have as much beauty, confidence and worthiness on the inside as what people are seeing on the outside, this does not make for a very happy person.  I made the mistake of assuming that a beautiful woman could not possibly have serious problems in her life and would be lacking in self-esteem.  Not true at all.

So it would seem that spending one's life doing something interesting, meaningful, fulfilling, fun, joyful is really the key to being a happy person.  We can't count on our looks to fend off bad things happening in our lives; they'll happen anyway.

Inner peace brings about true happiness.


  1. I couldn't agree with you more! If you aren't happy doing what you do, what good does it do?

  2. I agree with you. At 30, I'm learning so much about inner vs. outer, and what it takes to make one confident and happy. I've always been of the mind that I won't be too vain with looks, I'll do my best to age gracefully. While that's still the case, it's important to me to present myself well and take care of myself - something I'm just learning how to do beyond a superficial level. Since my last birthday (seriously, like the big 3-0 plopped a wad of wake-up-and-see-life in my lap) I'm learning what measures it takes to sustain an aging body: vitamins, diet, exercise... all of which I'm gradually dipping my toes into.

    I think it's individual, and that each person has to determine what will make them happy. And those sorts of decisions come from the inside.

  3. I spent a lot of years raising my kids, sacrificing a career. It's been very hard to get back into the working world. I'm still trying to figure out what will make me happy.

  4. To be saturated with life, neither both good diet and exercise nor healthy food and interesting / fulfilling job or career work behind. An alone thing that converts human being into saturated comes out from inner side, we can call it by name – be a true support for other.

  5. The constant stress on the body caused by unhappiness takes a huge toll that is sometimes impossible to see outwardly. People really do die from broken hearts and misery.

  6. What a beautiful post - so well written and so true. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!

  7. Thank you! I'm glad you liked this post.