THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS?
What is happiness? Is happiness everything? Is happiness what makes life worth living? Why are we so obsessed with happiness? These are the questions I have been asking myself over the past month. From personal experience I'm confident the intention of life is not to be happy 24/7. You will miss some of life's most beautiful experiences when you put happiness on a pedestal and ignore the full spectrum of emotion. Every moment in my life that holds intense meaning was not only happy, but also full of sadness, confusion, anger, exhaustion, fear, ecstasy, anxiety and every other soul-stirring combination known to mankind. The two points I want to discuss are impermanence and fulfillment. IMPERMANENCE - Nothing lasts forever, everything is always changing. Have you ever noticed all the emotional shifts that happen throughout a day? Here is a hypothetical example: 7 AM: wake up in the morning feeling like absolute shit 8 AM: Someone gives you a free donut and you feel a little better 8:15 AM: Read an email that pisses you off 9 AM: think about someone you love and you are now on cloud 9 10 AM: Get anxiety over the work you have to next week 10:01 AM: Think about your weekend plans and get excited 12 PM: Spill your lunch on yourself, now feeling embarrassed and annoyed 12:30: bump into a friend and laugh about the experience 1 PM: holy shit- you have to pee really bad and there is no bathroom in sight, stressed! 1:15 PM: FINALLY a bathroom - relief, ecstasy ... I think you get the point and I didn't even get through a whole day. Imagine the shifts you go through in a week? a year? To make happiness the focal point of your life is unrealistic, you can't predict the future BUT you can adapt in the present moment to whatever life throws at you. To live in fear of being unhappy will only limit your potential to experience all life has to offer. This brings me to my next point. FULFILLMENT + MEANING As I stated above, I believe the most important moments in life are those that put you through every emotion. We are the only animals on this planet that can consciously experience our feelings. For me, it is beautiful that I can feel anything at all. I am grateful for all the uncomfortable times I've gone through, they have shaped me and have given extraordinary fulfillment in my life today. Sometimes, it's the worst moments in our lives that teach us the most valuable lessons. Even in relationships with loved ones and friends, it can be the worst arguments or events that bring you closer together in the long run. It's the hardships, leaps of faith along your path that will make the happy moments (while they last) worth it. "Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity." - Socrates