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 need.
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”