Somewhere along the way, we adopted the notion that the
pursuit of happiness is a lofty, unrealistic, selfish ideal. Instead of being immersed in things that bring
us joy or strategically surrounding ourselves with people who lead genuinely happy
lives, we are passing the time with folks who are busily faking it.
To be fair, many of us don’t even own a personal definition
of happiness or even know what truly brings us joy. We are living lives that were designed for
us, but not by us.
Sometimes you marry the guy that everyone else wants you to
marry. Sometimes you pursue the job that everyone insists will provide a great
income and the best bet for a stable future.
We also have a tendency to pursue things because they give
us a sense of security and minimize our potential for fear that grows out of uncertainty.
The person from a nice family, the job with a 401k, the position that will
allow you to retire comfortably in the next 20-25 years are all things that we
believe should make everyone happy.
There isn’t anything inherently wrong with these things or
even wanting these things. The problem
occurs when these things aren’t your things and you spend all of your minutes
chasing stuff you never wanted anyway.
We fall victim to the idea that there is only one way to do
things, only one type of life that will bring you joy, and then we feel the
pressure of conquering the checklist:
go to college
get a good job
buy a house
go to lots of soccer practices
have dinner parties
We also might have a warped sense of what truly makes a
person happy. We look to others,
observe, and think: I need what they have to be happy. Guess what? You came
fully loaded with all the features and you are already equipped with everything
You do not have to go outside of yourself to find joy. Sure, you should absolutely use the universe
and the people in it to inspire you.
Beautiful things, people, food, ideas, places, and art light us up from
within. But, you have exactly what it takes to allow these things to enrich
your life and fill it with joy.
Continue reading “Happiness is a Choice”