I have been pursuing a new idea of pursuing happiness. Why would this be new to me? Doesn’t EVERYONE pursue happiness? Well no, I have realised. I thought that was my goal in life before now, but have recently discovered that my goal in life was to survive. How boring. I realise now that happiness may be attainable, even given my melancholic personality (yes, this is a real and scientific assessment that i had from a counsellor a few years ago.) We all have our natural tendencies and we can’t really fight WHO we are. However, I can change WHAT I do, and I can learn to find meaning in the things I do and therefore. meaning and purpose to my life.
Why would there be no meaning or purpose to my life, you glass-half-full people may be inquiring? Well, because my life hasn’t lived up to my expectations of how it “should” have gone by now. What is the answer to the “shoulds”? Gratefulness, for one. That is a major part of accepting and learning to enjoy what I have now.
I remember being in Sunday School when I was maybe 17 or 18, and my friend, the teacher, asked what our plan was for the next 5 or 10 years. Well, I had my life all figured out. I would go to university, graduate with an art degree, get a great job in an art gallery, get married, then have kids. I did graduate university, but not with the degree I originally intended due to a misunderstanding on my application, I did get married, but not to the person I thought I would or in the timeframe I thought I would, I did get a temporary job in an art gallery, which led to … no career in art, and eventually I got divorced then remarried but never ended up having kids. I intended to DO all these things in a certain way and by a certain date, but they either did not happen, or happened in a way that was not what I had hoped.
What if I had just said,
“My goal is to be happy” – I might not have married the wrong person (really, first person who actually seemed like they would go through with it after 2 non-committal relationships), I might not have been disappointed by the lack of career direction, I might have focused more on my family, I might have been more accepting of my life and been happier…
I would highly recommend Gretchen Rubin’s Book, The Happiness Project…here is a great shortened version of it, which I have read and been inspired by…http://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Project-Morning-Aristotle-Generally/dp/006158326X/ref=la_B001IZTAPW_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366234294&sr=1-1
I also came across a “Daily Practice” by James Altucher, made into a chart by Kevin Elliot. It could be a great starting point, if you don’t know what to do next to make changes in your life. I am doing maybe 10 of the 16 tops, but I don’t feel I have to do all of them. I don’t know if I will start getting up at 5a.m. but since I’ve been suffering from insomnia, it might be a way of being tired enough at night to actually stay asleep?
I wouldn’t suggest actually praying to a chair, as Altucher suggests, for those who are not believers. Even if you don’t believe in God, surely you don’t think you need to be grateful to a chair for the good things in your life.
Personally, I am grateful to the Only One Who gives me life and life more abundantly.
I welcome your comments….maybe you will inspire me to write more or in different directions…Thank you.