There’s a horrible misconception that if you have to put effort into being “ok”—that is happy, peaceful, serene—you aren’t “really” happy. I don’t know where that idea came from; I only know where I wish it’d go—away, far far away.
Sure, happiness happens naturally. It can blossom up in an astonishing variety of circumstances. That’s lovely when it happens. But really, in our daily lives, do we want to be wretched and live only in the hope of a ray of sunshine falling on us? Of course not.
Another not-so-great idea is that “we are happy as we choose to be”.
That’s not so rotten a misperception as the one above. It tips its hat to the idea that happiness is a choice, and we’re active in that decision making process. That’s great! However, it’s not quite as easy as that. We have to choose to be happy, yes. Does that choice bring happiness? No. Not at all. It is however, a good start. Once we’ve made up our minds to be happy, we have to set a course to learn how.
Many of us have tried to chase after happiness only to discover it’s elusive and hard to catch.
First, we have to understand that happiness really isn’t going to be found in anything external. Happiness starts inside you. I suggest taking a solid, honest personal inventory. Have you ever thought about what, for you, it means to be happy? Happiness is often dependent on where we are in our lives.
Is there anything blocking your ability to be happy? Have you checked yourself out in light of your relationships, your overall place in your lives, and your own personal goals, objectives and dreams? If we’re feeling unfulfilled, what would it take to get us further down the road towards it? I’m talking about real, enduring happiness here.
Before I end this entry, I want to encourage you to think freely, openly, without self-imposed constraints, about what a happy life would be in your terms. If that means getting a different job, changing something about a relationship, moving house, travelling—whatever it is, just don’t censor yourself.
Think of it, then write it down. Seeing your desires placed down into black and white can go a long way toward making them real.