Many people view happiness as a destination. “I’ll be happy when I make more money.” “I’ll be happy when I find a significant other.” “I’ll be happy when I lose 5 pounds.” These are just a few examples of the promises we make to ourselves that never really come to pass. Sure, you may be pleased through achieving various goals – but is the achievement to these goals the path to happiness?
The problem with allowing happiness to be contingent upon achieving a goal is that we continue to reach for more. This can be viewed as a positive action, considering we should always strive to set goals to motivate our interests. However, this system becomes problematic when our happiness becomes dependent upon reaching another milestone.
Rather than viewing happiness as an end result, we should all choose to be happy right now in this very moment. Sure, we are going to accomplish things that make us really happy – and they should. The point, however, is that we should not only be happy as the result of achieving a set objective.
For many, this is no easy feat. The act of attaching happiness to achievements tends to be a familiar give and take relationship for most. We often become so caught up focusing on the end result that we overlook the time between start and finish. Does a runner dread the race and only run in order to complete it? Or does the runner enjoy the ride but still fight to win the gold?
We should not seek happiness solely through reaching achievements – we should create it for ourselves by choice. My favorite way to choose happiness is by focusing on all of the things in my life that I’m thankful for.
Of course I’ll be pleased when desirable things happen – If I get a promotion, win a competition, or receive a thoughtful gift, but I have plenty of things to be happy about in the now without the presence of a new experience or achievement. I have a loving family, a stable job, a safe home – things that others frequently attach as their “goals.”
It’s important to take the time to recognize and appreciate the many reasons we have to be happy rather than seeking out things to make us happy. Especially considering the things we often take for granted are the exact things others are in need of.
No matter what situation you are facing, don’t let yourself believe that a certain achievement will provide you with a happy life. I have no doubt that experiences and achievements provide great happiness, but why should we only be happy when we reach those milestones?
“We are all going to have great days and some not-so-great days when it seems like Murphy’s law is in full effect.”
If we only allow ourselves to truly be happy when good things happen, we’ll spend much of our time content or melancholy. Life doesn’t always go our way. We are all going to have great days and some not-so-great days when it seems like Murphy’s law is in full effect. Life is far too precious to let little setbacks and upsets steal or prevent our happiness. You’re the one in charge of your mood – the one that can make a conscious decision to live a happy life.
“We always think that the grass is greener on the other side to find it’s really just green where we water it. “
So, stop waiting for the work week to end so you can be happy it’s the weekend. Stop trying to float through school so you can be happy when you graduate. And stop forcing a smile throughout the day and remember why you should form a real one. Enjoy the ride. We always think that the grass is greener on the other side to find it’s really just green where we water it. Choose to be happy, enjoy the in between, and live every moment you can to the fullest.