The search for happiness is a futile one. It’s something you can’t ever attain and so in the process of trying you end up feeling worse about yourself.
Sure there are things that bring us much happiness and we always want to be embracing more of that in our life every day. But, you should release expectations that it’s something you’ll eventually feel all the time.
Perhaps if we realized it was a transient emotion, not the end result, we might spend more time noticing the things that make us happy and diving into that emotion when it arrives.
One would think that living your ultimate life travelling around Australia with your family and getting paid to do it would make you immensely happy every day. But, it doesn’t.
There are many days I’m tired and cranky, wondering what the hell I am doing. The other side often seems greener. Long term travel is challenging especially with kids. We do experience a lot of stress and negative times, BUT I have a deep level of fulfilment that keeps me on this path.
I understand the more meaningful path I’m striving towards. Because of that, I can manage and overcome the transient negative emotions when they arrive. [You ain’t ever gonna escape em!]
How can I create a life that speaks from my heart, is meaningful, and mostly brings me happiness?
If you’re a parent you should understand this. You love your child with an intensity you never knew was possible and they often bring you much happiness. Yet at times, you’re ready for a glass of wine at 10am and you’re begging for your Mum to come rescue you for five minutes peace. The sleepless nights, the never ending battles and the constant guilt and worry pulls away at your happiness and you wonder why you signed up for this gig.
But, you’ll keep moving forth willingly because you understand the more meaningful and fulfilling path- LOVE. It trumps all.
Love celebrates the good and transcends the bad.
Live a life you LOVE, not one that necessarily brings you infinite happiness- the ultimate illusion.
I LOVED this definition I found in Dr Russ Harris book, The Happiness Trap. It is a MUST read and the best book I’ve ever read on mindfulness and happiness. You know when you read something and you feel as if someone has stolen the words from your heart and mind. This was it. I just wish I could articulate it as well as him.
The word happiness has two very different meanings. Usually it refers to a sense of pleasure, gladness or gratification. We all enjoy happy feelings, so it’s no surprise that we chase them. However, like all our other feelings, feelings of happiness don’t last. No matter how we try to hold on to them, they slip away every time. And as we shall sees, a life spent in pursuit of those feelings is, in the main, unsatisfying In fact, the harder we pursue pleasurable feelings, the more we are likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.
The other meaning of happiness is a “rich, full and meaningful life.’ When we take action on the things that truly matter deep in our hearts when we move in directions that we consider valuable and worthy, when we clarify what we stand for in life and act accordingly, then our lives become rich and full and meaningful and we experience a powerful sense of vitality. This is not some fleeting feeling- it is a profound sense of life well lived. And although such a life will undoubtedly give us many pleasurable feelings, it will also give us uncomfortable ones, such as sadness, fear and anger. This is only to be expected If we live a full life, we will fell the full range of human emotions.
Do you have tingles now?
Yes. Yes. Yes. That fills me up completely.
Do you know what that more meaningful path is for you? What are your struggles with it? How do you manage your transient emotions?