How’s your pursuit of happiness going? Is that highly sought after state of being proving to be a little elusive? Maybe you need to redefine your definition of pursuit. If your interpret pursuit as chasing something, then happiness will always be something that has to be “caught”. There is another definition of pursuit, and that is a pastime or something you are engaged in doing. For example, someone could say their favourite pursuit is playing golf. Now, when you think of happiness in that context, it takes on a whole new meaning doesn’t it? It becomes an experience.
Happiness can be just that, something you experience on a daily basis because you choose to. Many people however perceive happiness as something conditional. “When I have the ideal job, the ideal partner, the financial freedom, I’ll be happy. Until then, happiness will have to wait.” What a dispiriting way to live your life!
The concept that we need things in order to be happy is a construct that doesn’t stand the test. One only has to look around at the many “successful” people who are not happy. These are people who supposedly “have it all”. That’s the issue right there, people make the assumption that happiness is in the “having”. Whether that be the acquisition of the material possessions, or the immaterial such as fame or acceptance by others.
Happiness is in the being. Right now, as I’m sitting in my office writing this, I choose to be happy. If I stop for a few minutes, I can hear three different kinds of bird singing, it’s peaceful, the weather is beautiful. Why wouldn’t I be happy? There are dozens of things I could be worried about if I chose to be. There always will be.
You may ask, “So, what you’re saying David is, whatever our circumstances, we should just accept the way things are, suck it up and be happy about it?”. Yes..… and no. If you have the capacity to change your circumstances, why wouldn’t you? Don’t leave things that you can do something about. Up to your ears in debt? Then get off your arse and do something about it. In a relationship with a complete dick? Give them the flick. Don’t remain a victim. I think the Serenity prayer pretty well sums it up.
“God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Serenity – the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. Wow! What a game changer it is when you can live by that precept, let me tell you. But oh so hard, especially for the control freaks. For them it’s about manipulating, exploiting and dominating. You know what those people need to do? Take a long, deep breath and ……. stop being a coward. A coward? Those kinds of people seem anything but cowards. On the surface maybe, but acting in that manner illustrates a lack of trust that things will work out, a lack of trust is fear, if you let fear rule your life …. you get my point?
To be happy then;
- Realise it’s a choice that you can make every moment
- Stop pinning your happiness on attaining
- Change what you can change, accept what you can’t
- Choose to be happy now, I mean right now!
I heard a great quote once on happiness. It went something like “ Happiness is a condition where our thoughts are positive a large percentage of the time “. I love that, because ultimately, what dominates our thinking is what determines how our life pans out.
That’s the key to happiness right there.
Enjoy your journey!