In the pursuit of happiness…

December 7, 2010 § 4 Comments

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Happiness is the one thing we all want and the one thing many of us spend much of our time trying to find. We make changes to ourselves, our relationships and our surroundings in the hope that these will unlock more of that magical place that we sometimes get to experience in a moment here, and another there. A haircut, a new pair of shoes, rearranging the living room furniture, changing jobs, even changing friends or partners. Though hard decisions to make sometimes, these are nothing more than our attempts–no matter how graceful or clumsy–at fulfilling ourselves the best way we know how to (or don’t).

I’ve spent the past few weeks reflecting on the rest of this year. I’d have to say 2010 has been one of my biggest years. And in it, I’ve found my space in which to be happy. That hasn’t come without its trials and tribulations. I didn’t find my spot without some people coming into my life, others leaving it and some sticking around for the whole adventure. I also never would have found it if I hadn’t been willing to work through the bits that kept me tethered with equal gusto to the parts that helped me fly.

I’ve discovered that long-term happiness isn’t found in a moment, but is made up of our friends, family, coworkers and experiences. It’s a continual state of being that we only recognize when we have the other end of the spectrum to compare it to.

Often, we create our own roadblocks when we lack the openness and confidence to climb as high as we may have fallen. But the ups and the downs are what give us a foundation to connect with one another on. It’s those ups and downs that help us grow, and give us a richness and depth to life that we cannot get elsewhere.

So really, happiness is not something we find, but something we experience. It has as much to do with what happens within us as it does with what happens around us. And so, the responsibility of our happiness falls on no-one’s shoulders but our own. The question then is: Are you happy? And if you aren’t, what are you doing about it?

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§ 4 Responses to In the pursuit of happiness…

  • You are quite right, Wendy, happiness is something we can control and you very appropriately ask what we are doing about it if we are not. This is a good message for anyone in a situation where they should contemplate change, whether that’s a job they hate or a bad relationship. Too often, people just stay in a situation because it seems more comfortable to be mired in their situation than to do anything about it. Yet when it comes to something so essential to enjoying life like happiness, why wouldn’t a person pursue change?

  • Andrea says:

    I agree with everything you say Wendy. I’ve had one of those tumultuous years as well and I’ve found happiness in just the simple act of being. I’ve got some great friends and family that have never strayed from their support in me and I’m achieving goals I had never thought possible. This blog post just resonates with me on all levels. Thank you!

  • Cezary Wojcik says:

    Hello Wendy,
    You’ve touched my soul with this article. When I was reading it a thougt went through my mind that happiness boils down to the right thinking.

    The good question is: “what’s the right thinking all about ?”. Well, at first I said avoiding detrimental thoughts is beneficiary. But to avoid detrimental thoughts we first have to think them then try to avoid them. 🙂

    So it’s not a solution. Developing the right thinking is something else.

  • Wendy Peters says:

    Hey Cezary! Glad you were able to connect with this post :). You’re right in that the right thinking is required. Most of the time that can be accomplished with a shift in attitude. But sometimes simply avoiding the “bad” thoughts doesn’t help us either. Those thoughts are telling us something about ourselves, and I’ve found that in order to banish them completely, I’ve had to dig down and find it’s root cause–whether that be a lack of confidence in myself, fear of success, etc. What would a happy life look like to you?

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