The Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness. Life seems incomplete without it. It’s what we strive for and make our goals to support. But what does that really mean?

Often times when we think of happiness, we’re actually envisioning pure bliss, jubilation, constant belly laughs and a wild, free life. All of those things are incredible and when we get to experience those in our lives we should acknowledge those moments with gratitude. But is that what happiness really is?

I think that when we hold “happiness” to that high standard, most of the time, our lives fall short of that. And falling short is failing, in a way. Failing brings about suffering and feelings of inadequacies. Failing further highlights the fact that we aren’t “happy”, that we have struggles and challenges. So do we lower our standards? Do we strive for less than our idea of “happy”?

Not really.

Happiness is literally defined as “the state of being happy.” OK……

So the definition of happy is “feeling or showing pleasure or contentment”.

No where in that definition do I see balloons and fireworks, glitter or excitement.

To me, happiness is a feeling of peace. During those calm, slow moments when I can think to myself, “this is good.” That sweet, simple moment of content that I often find myself in, if I’m paying attention.

And I think that is the key. Excitement hits you upside the head like a brick- you can’t not notice moments like that. But if we really pay attention, we can see happiness more often in our daily lives. Hot coffee in the morning, a butterfly, a stranger’s smile, the feeling of warmth, the kids giggling in the next room.

Taking an inventory daily of what makes us happy and what brought us joy that day will make you more aware of those moments in your life. Stopping to acknowledge those moments through out the day will show us all we have to be happy about.