Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Chasing Happiness

Note:  This is a repeat of a newsletter article I wrote in December 2009.  Enjoy!



I woke up the other morning, and realized I was happy. Nothing had happened. No dream that I remembered. I was just happy. How the heck did that happen? I’ve been on a roller coaster of ups and downs recently. Luckily, I’ve spent more time on the up side, but those pity parties occur here and there. So how the heck did I reach happiness that morning? If I had a step by step action plan for reaching happiness, I’d undoubtedly have a publishing contract and be on a book tour of major cities in the US and Canada. But being famous and traveling on a schedule not of my own making is not my idea of happiness. That, and I have no clue how this happiness occurred.

When I was in my early 20s, I was searching for the love of my life. I had a few long term relationships, but I dreamed of being married and having a family. The more I searched for the man that I thought would bring me happiness, the more less than desirable dates I attracted. When I decided to quit looking, and just enjoy myself, I was introduced to the man I have now been married to for greater than 30 years.

Earlier this decade, I had a dream job that I loved, but I was becoming more and more aware that the job was not fulfilling to me. I spent some time imagining the perfect job. I did nothing more than that. I just imagined what it could be. Within a year, that job, just as I had imagined it, came to me.

These two examples are major milestones in my life. In between those times have been those experiences where I’ve pushed, pulled, prayed, pleaded and pursued happiness to no avail. I have no words of wisdom, really, concerning this topic. I just know that happiness is something everyone wants to have, and that there is no magic formula. Happiness just happens.

While you are waiting for or maybe already experiencing your happiness, allow me to share these quotes I found on the subject. Some are profound. Some just made me laugh. I was happy just reading them. Enjoy!

The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase, if you pursue happiness you'll never find it. – C P Snow

My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right? - Charles Schultz

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude. – Denis Waitley

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. – FDR

Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. – George Burns

Remember that as a teenager you are in the last stage of your life when you will be happy to hear the phone is for you. – Fran Leibowitz

The basic thing is that everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering. And happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. If your own mental attitude is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy. – H.H. The Dalai Lama

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us. - Helen Keller

Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but which if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. - Nathaniel Hawthorne

People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within. – Ramona L Anderson