Happiness is a Journey
What do you want to be when you grow up? It's a question you have probably heard at least a dozen times while growing up. Maybe your answer has changed over time. Or perhaps now that you are an adult you ended up becoming exactly where you'd envisioned you'd be all along. In any case your answer was probably something tangible like an astronaut, fashion designer, football player or whatever. An answer not a lot of people would respond with is by calling an emotion. What do you want to become when you grow up? Happy, simply happy. And once I have it, I want to freeze it in a bottle.
But can we even feel happy all of the time? Well to be honest, probably not. Let me ask you this, have ever felt unhappy? If your answer is a sounding yes, join the club. It's a common emotion and there's nothing wrong with feeling this way. In a way it's our mind saying we are on the wrong path.
We might even be pushing a square peg into a round hole. Like trying to be popular by buying fancy new shoes. Funny thought: if that square peg is small enough it might even fit for a while. But that "happiness high" is short lived as we have not actually solved the root problem, if there's even any.
Coming back to the question of becoming. If you are, after working on it for many many years, finally that profession you always wanted to be. Will that truly make you happy? Is there a burst of high and accomplishment? Sure, but the happiness from it never lasts. This is because we get used to the hand that feeds us. And if we seek something eventually we might get it and it becomes the new normal. Even if that goal is something grand like a job.
Always on the road
"If I could freeze time in a bottle". Is a beautiful quote by Jim Croce in the song "Time in a bottle". I've imagined countless times how that would feel. If only we could take a snapshot and experience a beautiful coming together of events over and over again. Unfortunately we simply can't.
Things change and in a way we are always on the road towards the next big thing. Or frustratingly trying to protect what we already have and love. In fact according to research we as people are more saddened for losing something we already have, than we are happy about gaining something new.
Make happiness a priority
So knowing that we are always on the road and happiness from success is only temporarily; where does that leave us? Well hopefully knowing what you know now, you can now make happiness a constant priority. Something not to chase but to find in the little things. A smell of flowers on your way to the office, or a laugh with your partner over something silly.
We only get to experience one lifetime together. And because we can't freeze time in a bottle, let's make the constant living we do more pleasant. Finding these little moments of happiness go a very long way in achieving this.
Happiness is not a destination, nor is it a side effect from reaching any fixed point in your life. It is to be made a priority. And more often than not living a mindful live, staying in the present and appreciating the little things is all it takes.