What is your pursuit of happiness?
When I picture the word “pursuit” I think of some greasy, Steve Buschemi look-alike breathing heavily outside my door with a dozen roses.
I don’t want to be pursued, and I don’t care to pursue anything either. So why in the world are we searching for the pursuit of happiness?!
But most damaging of all, the pursuit of happiness implies that happiness is something that must be overcome, something that must be conquered. So let’s debunk 3 myths surrounding the pursuit of happiness, and instead, learn to access a wealth of happiness without inviting grief, labor or stress into our lives during the process.
Guys. I discovered The Sims again.
I hadn’t played this stupid computer game since high school. I had held back for years, always convincing myself that there were a zillion other things I “ should” be doing, knowing that if I started to play I would waste hours upon hours of real life absorbed in a cartoon simulation.
But a few days ago, I had a dream that I was playing and it made me really miss it. And when I woke up the next morning, I just couldn’t shake the feeling. I saw that EA had a promotion that you could play the game free for 48 hours. So I did it.
And now I’m hooked again.
I’m a 25 year old woman playing computer games. I’m not unemployed and I have quite a bit of direction in my life. I “should” be building an empire, and producing a television show about millennials, and planning a Pinterest wedding with my free time – but I’m not. I’m playing a computer game.
Because it makes me happy.
Because it relieves stress.
Because I want to.
No source of happiness is any better than another. Happiness is happiness, plain and simple.
So what sources of happiness have you been sitting on for awhile? Stop reading this post and go do it RIGHT NOW. (But maybe bookmark the rest of the post for later, okay? 😉 )
You would be hard pressed to find someone that isn’t just trying to be happy. And happy can mean so many different things for different people.
The moment I realized that I didn’t want to be an actress anymore , was the moment when I sat down and thought about what traditional success would look like in that role. I realized that the thing I was pursing, the BEST CASE SCENARIO, would not make me happy. So I jumped ship and embarked on a new path.
Maybe, for you, happy doesn’t mean having to be on the “30 Under 30” list. Maybe the idea of being on that list doesn’t bring you happiness – maybe it only invites stress, anxiety and judgement.
Society does not determine your definition of happiness – you do.
Maybe happy is easy.
Maybe happy is tucking your boyfriend into bed (because he goes to sleep waaaaay too early) and sneaking in some extra snuggles before he falls asleep. Maybe happy is taking a walk through the park to clear your head. Maybe happy can be found in the palm trees outside your window. ( Can you tell I’m loving California? )
Lately I’ve been an over-achiever experiencing an under-achiever epiphany.
Achievement feels good. But achievement, if not watched closely, can slip through your fingers. Other people’s judgements or expectations can lurk within the shadows of Achievement. Social media loves to feed on achievement, loves to fuel the ego. Achievement morphs into jealousy, into a race to the death of success. Achievement becomes confused with images of perfection. Achievement is no longer measured in positive feelings, but rather likes on a Facebook feed. And if you let it get away from you, achievement does not always equal happiness.
Maybe happiness is easier than you thought. Maybe happiness is easier than you were told.
Perhaps it’s already here.
I’m all for goals. But not goals for the sake of goals . Not those goals that you create and spend your whole life pursuing because you want to avoid an awkward conversation at the family reunion. Goals are not mandatory . Living a life that makes you feel good is mandatory. And I will agree that some bits of happiness take longer to cook than others. But not every bit of happiness exists entirely in the future.
Instead of asking ourselves “What is my pursuit of happiness?” What if we just accepted that the pursuit is happiness? And the rest is just called life.
Question: How can you make happiness feel easy & instant in your own life today? Share your answer in the comments below, on or on Twitter .
So…this idea of happiness gets me all riled up. Interested in more about ditching the pursuit and relishing in the retreat of happiness?