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.
There used to be a time in my life where if you asked me this question, my stomach would drop. I began to DESPISE anyone who ventured onto this dreaded topic. Usually I would stutter and stammer, trying desperately to sound casual, until eventually I would reply with the classic conversation-ending response,
It’s not that I hated that people were interested in my life – not at all! I was thankful to have friends and family who actually gave a damn about me and my endeavors. What I hated was how that question made
feel. I hated the fact that I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. It was hard to hide behind that little question. Instead, it just made me realize how disappointed I was with myself and what my life had become.
Does this sound even a
Looking back on it, I realize that this phase of my life was one of the most CRUCIAL times that I have ever, or
ever experience. Although it felt like nothing was happening and I had no direction, this phase in my life set me up for everything that I would aspire to be in the future. And now I like to refer to this special phase as
The In-Between Time
Sometimes us drama queens can get SO caught up in our negative thoughts, that we end up making life harder for ourselves in the process. You feel like ALL you can do is complain, moan and worry about something, only to realize that the simple solution was right in front of your nose the entire time.
The same exact thing can happen to the role that
plays in our lives.
We all want to be happy, right? The pursuit of happiness is a lifelong goal, and many of us would do just about anything to get a glimpse of it.
But that’s the thing – the “pursuit of happiness” isn’t a pursuit at all! I challenge you to retreat from happiness, starting today.
Because Happiness has been in front of your nose this entire time.
workout DVD a few years ago for Christmas. It’s been collecting dust on my shelf, (Why bother with workout DVDs when there’s millions of free workouts on
!?) but I finally decided to give it a whirl.
And let me tell you, holy moly great balls of fire! That DVD kicks my ass! I have to practice Lamaze as I try to walk down the stairs or sit on the toilet – my whole body aches with soreness.
Considering it’s called “30 Day Shred”, I imagine Jillian designed this workout to be completed in 30 consecutive days.
But that’s where I draw the line.
Call me a big loser, but when I recognize stress, I
that my body needs time to rest and recoup. Because rest plays an important role not only in our physical lives, but our mental and spiritual lives as well.
I’ve been watching a lot of
lately. It’s a Showtime TV series that centers on a blood splatter analyst who leads a secret life as a serial killer.
I will admit, this show
stresses me out
It’s not that I’m afraid for Dexter (I mean, his name is the title of the show – I doubt they are going to kill him off any time soon…well, wait
that was purely a guess
… I’m only on the 4th season… oh no… don’t give it away!
Dexter be careful!
I’m stressed because Dexter is AWFUL at organizing his life. I don’t worry about his crimes… I get stressed when he leaves his child with the nanny for too long. I get stressed when he doesn’t show up to work on time because he was off riding in his boat. Mainly, I get stressed because Dexter has tried to divide his life into perfect little pieces (no pun intended…
), and he finds his life constantly crashing down around him.
Dexter, buddy, can’t you see the full picture!?
Which makes me think, don’t we all try to do the same? We compartmentalize our lives on a daily basis. We have our family, our friends, our romantic partners, our career, our personal development, our homes and our health. We have these segments in our lives that we must juggle, and sometimes it’s easier to divide them into separate entities. Sometimes it
easier to handle them that way.
But just like Dexter, therein lies a fatal flaw. Here’s why segmenting your life could cost you your happiness
Have you had an item collecting dust on your to-do list for quite some time?
Honestly, I think there are a few items on mine that have been sitting there for weeks, maybe even months.
Sometimes you get to an item on your to-do list and it’s hard not to look like a deer caught in headlights. You stare at it. And stare at it. And you break out into a cold sweat and stare at it some more.
Because the next task on your to-do list is SO monumental, SO huge and important, that you have no idea how to make it happen.
And it’s easy to get uncomfortable and discouraged, and want to take a nap instead, or watch reruns of Full House, or any number of mindless, “filler” activities that pass the time, allowing yourself to procrastinate on your dreams.
And then, months from now, when you are
feeling stuck, you start to feel dejected because you are not seeing actual progress and your dream still feels SO FAR AWAY.
Daydreaming is nice, but living a dream feels SO MUCH BETTER.
I’ve been there my friend.
The guilt that manifests from inaction use to
me. I felt like I was wasting time, like precious time was slipping away from me every moment I spent feeling lost on how to accomplish my dreams.
And that’s when it hit me.
Every time I pull up my calendar, or add a new thing to my to-do list, I’m essentially searching for the most effective use of my TIME. I was making the decision on how I wanted to spend my MOMENTS on earth.
Time is just a series of moments.
Something can take a year to accomplish or a minute – but no matter the time frame, they are both comprised of singular moments, one after one, that continue to add up until the project is complete.
And as long as you fill each moment to the brim with inspired activity, you will start to see change.
Decades or years sound very scary sometimes. But moments – those are
We can handle moments.
In order to create the change you crave in your life, you must break down every big dream into MANAGEABLE MOMENTS.
Have you ever felt the real world give you a major SLAP IN THE FACE?
Owwww. Well… that hurt.
You know what I’m talking about – we’ve all had moments where our expectations about life were just blown out of the water, everything we thought to be true crumbled in a million little pieces and scattered off into the wind, never to be seen again…
For me, that moment came after college. It was the moment that I realized your career takes up a freakin’ LARGE AMOUNT OF YOUR LIFE.
In college – going to class, hanging with friends, studying for tests, going out to parties – these were all the activities that comprised a normal day. Life was busy, but everything was exciting and new.
I figured that when I graduated and started work, it would feel the same way, but instead of class it would be my place of employment. Not all that different, right?
So very wrong.
Staying in one building with the same people for 8…10… or 12 (sometimes longer!) hours a day turned out to be
like class. There are no mid-day naps. There’s rarely a change of pace. All of the sudden, you go home and realize that you only really have 4 hours or so until you
start it all again
. And even when you DO get home, it’s hard to keep all that work stuff from flooding your brain. There’s no off switch! Sometimes, you even DREAM about work in your sleep! Weekends go by too fast. There are no semesters to count the time. If you are unhappy in your career, this realization can feel like being hit over the head with a ton of bricks.
I learned EARLY on that if you spend the majority of your life at work, you better devote that time to a career that makes you happy.
Take a look at these 9 steps to finding happiness within your career, and start making those hours count!