Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pursuit of Happiness

Are you happy? I keep stumbling across that question on the Internet quite a bit. It's usually posted on websites where there are open questions and everyone can pop in with their own answer. In all the answers I've read, I haven't seen one yet that has that all encompassing right-on response to the secret of happiness, though it seems people are trying awfully hard to find it.

If I were to answer that question myself as I write my weekly blog, I'll have to stop a moment and ponder that thought. Let's see...if I am to take an assessment of my present state of happiness at 11:53 a.m., PST, on December 16, 2007, I would say I am happy, BUT not quite as happy as I believe I could be, if per chance I finally realize the one thing I'm waiting for in life that I believe will bring me ultimate happiness. Since I've yet to achieve that all encompassing happy thing I dream about all the time, I can conclude in my own mind I'm not at the peak of ultimate happiness.

Alas, the question remains though, if I do finally obtain the thing that I desire the most in life, will that thing bring me the happiness I think it will? Or, will I discover after obtaining it that it wasn't really the thing that could bring me to ultimate happiness? If that's the case, then I'm definitely going to have to find another thing to achieve or acquire to bring me to another level beyond that one, in the hopes of when that achievement or dream materializes, I will have arrived at ultimate happiness.

If that's the case in life, then happiness must be a very elusive emotion and something we continually strive for, but never really accomplish. Happiness can never really be satisfied, because it always demands more, as it is contingent upon obtaining what we want; and if we don't obtain what we want, we believe we can't be happy.

I believe that happiness is not an emotion to be achieved or a place we finally arrive due to realized wishes, but it's an attitude that we should possess every day. If happiness is always contingent upon achieving something, we will fail in our attempts to constantly obtain it or maintain it. However, if we carry it as an attitude, hold onto it as a way of looking at life, not letting our surroundings or circumstances affect it, then happiness is a state we can always live in to some degree.

I may never obtain that one thing I think will bring me to that ultimate place of happiness, but it doesn't mean I can't possess happiness without it. How about you? Are you going to keep waiting for that one thing or are you going to stop, take a look around you, and find happiness where you are?