Simply put, our idea of happiness is elusive. The more we chase it, the further it escapes us.
Prime example – think about all the times you thought, “if only I could accomplish X or add one more thing to my collection, I would be happy”, and then that one thing happened. Were you happy? I’m sure you temporarily were until it became another object or goal checked off that turned into emptiness and ultimately left you thirsting for more. (Sound familiar yet?) Because this ongoing cycle is so transparent, we should learn to stop seeking happiness as an end goal.
I’ve often wondered why I never seem to be wholly satisfied even as I make strides in my life or buy those “I just need to have” objects. And through time, I’m realizing more and more that the result of these accomplishments and tangible things is excitement and pleasure, which equates to the idea of happiness we’ve all been fed but is actually nothing more than a mere illusion. However, since pleasure feels so good and novel, we’re always confusing it with real happiness. That’s also exactly why we tend to become so disappointed when life doesn’t turn out to be the fairytale we imagined even through hard work, huge effort, and self-sacrifice. The difference in real happiness and pleasure lies in longevity – pleasure and excitement never fully fulfills and therefore will never be enough.
After several years of living through this false pursuit, I’ve established that regardless of what I do, whom I am with, and where I’ve been, I’ll never truly be happy unless I allow it to dwell within me.
So the next time you find yourself seeking happiness, remember that it doesn’t exist in that designer handbag, your next relationship, job promotion, money, or places. It isn’t success and failing to feel happy doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. Happiness is current and alive in this very moment – it exists simultaneously in good times and bad; for without the bad, you would never know the good. It stems from our many life experiences and journeys of supreme highs and lows.
I am happy not because I get to do something I love or because I found my soul mate, but because I know how far I’ve come and what I hustled through to get to this particular point. If you’re finding yourself unhappy or constantly searching for it, make a change.
Start being happy now.