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Remember when you were three and people would ask you what you wanted to be when you grew up? Any kind of answer at that point was cute. Couple years later, people probably expected a more thought-out answer. You might have given them a very specific response or one that was not clearly defined. Whatever the case was, now you’re at that age when you should have everything figured out. You have a job that pays the bills, but you’re not quite happy. Then, when you least expect it, the question pops up in your mind. “Am I in danger of wasting my life?”
The signs of that waste are different for each one of us. For me, the subject of happiness has been on my mind quite frequently in the past couple of weeks. Just to clarify, when I talk about happiness, I don’t mean joy. As a Christian, I believe that true joy only comes from God. When I mention happiness, I think about the things that make me feel happy. And because it is a well-known fact that people teach what they need to learn, I decided to start my own quest for happiness and to take you guys for a ride!
What Is Happiness?
I won’t try to come up with a new definition of happiness, because so much has been said on this topic already (by people much wiser than I am). To establish some sort of a connection, let me quote some of the famous people who pondered about happiness themselves.
Happiness is a direction, not a place. – Sydney J. Harris
Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be. – Abraham Lincoln
Happiness depends upon ourselves. – Aristotle
Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur everyday than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom. -Benjamin Franklin
These quotes bring an incredible insight into what people think happiness is about. But what makes you happy? Money? Family? Friends? Order? Take a minute and think about this. I, being a Type A personality, took it a step further and made a list of things that bring me happiness. In that list, I highlighted the ones that don’t happen very often in my life.
Next, I thought about how not having those things affects my everyday mood. For example, order makes me very happy. Disorder, on the other side, makes me cranky and anxious. Other people might not be bothered by this topic at all; but for me, it is kind of a big deal.
Acceptance vs. Change
Did you know that according the latest research, happiness seems to be as much about personality and genetics as it is about “good things” happening in one’s life?
Whether or not you inherited that “happiness gene,” I believe that you can make yourself happier by doing the things that make you feel happy. Many books and web articles have been written about self-acceptance and I think that’s great, don’t get me wrong! But what if simply accepting your current situation won’t stop making you feel like you’re wasting your life?
Let me tell you something you probably already know. Your life is not going to change unless you make it change! That’s why I decided to embark on this quest for happiness. My goal? I want to feel grateful for my ordinary days. At the end of the day, even when no extraordinary thing happens in my life, I want to know for sure that I did not waste even a moment by letting unhappiness rule over my actions.
Do you want to see what I’m doing to pursuit my happiness? Read about my #19for2019 habits I want to acquire during the next twelve months. Onward and upward!