Sunday, April 3, 2011

In search of happiness

I read Ms. Jaksch recent article on ‘happiness’ (a portion of it is found below) and it struck a chord.  I believe she is right on track.

Happiness as defined by the dictionary as … enjoying, showing, or marked by pleasure, satisfaction, or joy.


So much has been made of being happy or finding happiness.  Why is seeking happiness or concern over someone’s happiness so important?  As Ms. Jaksch states in her blog, there is so much more in life than just trying to be happy.

Is Happiness Overrated?
By Mary Jaksch of Goodlife Zen

“Are you happy? And are you getting happier? If not, some people may say that you’re failing.  After all, happiness has become the primary goal in life according to the self-help movement. …
Is happiness a worthwhile goal in life?
Let’s take a look at key moments in life. Reflect for a moment on which experiences blew your mind. For me, the most wonderful, emotional, and exciting moment was giving birth to my son, Sebastian. Although it was one of the highlights of my life, I wouldn’t call it a ‘happy’ time. It was painful, terrifying (when Sebastian’s heart rate suddenly slowed just before he was born), joyful, overwhelming, exhilarating, sublime, and funny (when the new father walked out of the hospital wearing a blood-stained shirt and an inane, wrap-around-grin on his face). Yes, the word ‘happy’ doesn’t begin to describe this amazing experience.
Much more important than feeling ‘happy’ is when we feel alive – right down to our little toes. When we are filled with creative energy. When we love deeply. When we feel our pain. When we laugh. When we cry. When we feel a deep sense of joy. When we belong. When we feel alone. When we are in awe. When we are struck by beauty. When the simple things become precious.
All of that taken together is so much more than to be ‘happy’.”

I recently read an article about a study that revealed people today are not as happy as they were twenty years ago.  From my perspective, I would say that, if asked, a majority of people would say they are not happy at any particular moment.  Does that mean they are sad or angry, NO!  It just means they are not ‘happy’ at that time.  

If we spend our life seeking ‘happiness’ we are missing out on so much.  We also will continually analyze everything that is happening in our life only looking for what will make us happy.  And, by doing so we will miss so much of life’s experiences.

I recently wrote my daughter about a time in my life where I was very ‘content’.  I looked up “content” afterward and it means ‘comfortable with’, ‘satisfied’, or ‘not desiring something more or different’.  It did not mention the word ‘happy’, however.

At that time, the little things in life did not seem to bother me.  If someone cut me off while driving or was late for an appointment, it was okay.  The world was not going to come to an end just because I was slightly inconvenienced.  Was I happy?  Probably not any more than I am today, but I was also not sad or angry or unhappy.  I was ‘comfortable’ with what was happening with my life.  I was experiencing life as it unfolded and not looking for what would make me happier.

holding baby

I feel that Ms. Jaksch’s point is there is something far more important than wondering if we are ‘happy’.   There is nothing better than the feeling of being alive.  Pain, love, joy, sorrow, etc. all bring out emotions that further this sense of being alive … of being a part of this wonderful world.  It is living your life to the fullest. 

It also means being thankful for this life that you are living.

transform our world

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