Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pursuing Happiness

This might be a really simple idea, but sometimes I can forget it. My guess is that you're prone, too.

What we chase to make us happy and what actually makes us happy are often two different things. We chase a bigger salary, a nicer car, a trip to Mexico or a bigger office. We chase acknowledgement for our volunteer efforts or for someone to compliment our new shirt. We save up to buy... wait, who am I kidding? We use our credit card to buy a new camera.

Without fail, these items soon become part of our new routine or a distant memory. Once the euphoria fades away, we're filled with "what next?"

There's a pattern here, and if we step back for a moment it's easy to see it. The majority of our lives is spent in the routine, not the moment of achievement. If your happiness is derived from THE NEXT THING, you're establishing that you will live most of your life unfulfilled. Sure, you get a sense of satisfaction when you attain something, but that's fleeting.

I say we should focus on what's constant. Rather than "what's next?", how about asking "what am I doing on a consistent basis?" Then, if you plan to continue repeating the pattern, figure out how being in that moment can make you happy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How true Nevin, the best "next" thing for me occurs everyday when I am getting close to the end of the work day and my next thing will be going home to see Colleen and Coleman. It amazes me how much more enjoyable a slightly simpler life has been. Keep up the good work. Mike L