Not chasing happiness
"It is the very pursuit of happiness, that thwarts happiness."
- Viktor Frankl
We can pursue happiness, but it makes it difficult to enjoy life if we are always in pursuit of something and unable to enjoy the pursuit. Happiness should not be a destination we arrive at or a feeling we need to chase. Happiness should be the feeling we experience while we are in the pursuit of our goals and living the best life available to us. We have all heard the cliché about life not being so much about the destination, but rather the journey. The same goes for happiness. It should not be a fixed point on a timeline. It should be a flowing feeling we can access at will.
That is not to say we should not be pursuing the things that have the potential to bring us happiness. We should absolutely be in pursuit of the things that bring us joy, but we should not have to sacrifice our wellbeing in the process. Happiness should not be a goal we set out to achieve. Happiness should be a feeling we experience while we are in the process of accomplishing and attaining our goals. We should be excited and hopeful. We should feel grateful for the opportunity to improve our quality of life.
The biggest downfall with chasing happiness is that it can be elusive. There is not always a happy ending in store. Sometimes, we will be faced with disappointment or loss. We are not guaranteed happiness in the future. It's not a destination. Happiness is a state of mind. This is why we benefit from being mindful about what happiness means to us. Since we determine our happiness, we do not need to set some appointment with happiness at a later date. Instead of chasing after it, we can choose happiness now.
We all have different definitions of what happiness means to us. The more we focus on what makes us happy now, the more happier life we are likely to lead. We may not be happy with where we are in every aspect of our life, but that does not mean we should not have reasons to be happy. Think of how far you have come so far in life. I'm sure you have plenty of reasons to be happy right now. We should not have to always be looking to the future for happiness. It's not about what we have. It's about how we feel. That being said, we all have the ability to feel happiness right now, in the present moment. There's no need to wait.
Thrive Global: How to find happiness in this present moment
Positive Psychology: How to Live in the Present Moment: 35 Exercises and Tools
Very Well Mind: Are There Different Types of Happiness?