Don’t Chase Happiness Do This Instead

According the the magazine Psychology Today, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life—that is, with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction. We all want it, that ever illusive Happiness.  but how exactly do we get it?  Ah, that is the question.

Many books have been written on the topic as so much are seeking the answer, trying to find happiness. Including myself.  But I don’t think it is found by chasing it.  Because we can get so busy chasing happiness, or what is supposed to make us happy, that we end up running the wrong race. I think that happiness is not something we can attain by chasing.  I think that it is something that comes to us, seeks us out even.

Most think that they will be happy if they only have that job title, or that house, or that partner, or the life.  But the fact is that many people reach those goals and still feel unhappy. Why is that? I think it is because we are going about it wrong. We go about it backwards.

I say this because we go after the job titles, buy the clothes, the house, the car, then expect all that to make us happy.  We expect to be able to cross things off of our mental checklist and when all those goals are checked off, we are supposed to be happy.

But what if that is all wrong?  What if there is another way? What if instead of going after the job title, we instead go after after a job where we feel fulfilled? A job where we feel like we are useful. For instance, I love writing, being part of a team, and being somewhere that I can contribute. The title doesn’t really matter…what I love to do can be called a copy writer, content developer, technical writer, knowledge writer, Content writer, document specialist, communications specialist, content expert, UX researcher… you get the idea.  So who cares what the title is?

Same thing with everything else in life.  Figure out what makes you happy as far as your career, and go after that. Same with relationships. Figure out how you want your relationship to feel, then follow what makes you feel that way.  If we follow and go after that which makes us feel the way we want, then happiness will find us.

Don’t worry about that checklist for a “perfect partner.”  I’ll save you the trouble – a perfect partner or relationships doesn’t exist. And we can Checklist ourselves right out of happiness. Go after the relationship that makes you feel valued and loved, needed, wanted, fulfilled, important and gives you peace.

And when we do this, happiness finds us.

What if life throws a curve ball, and suddenly, all that made you feel good suddenly shifts or changes?  Well, that’s OK. Then you just start paying attention, start listening to your soul again, deep down, to figure out what makes you feel good again, what makes you laugh, and smile. It’s all there, all those things, it’s only a matter of being true to yourself and following the bliss. And it’s OK if it takes some time to figure out.

This is where I am actually.  So much has changed, and I have changed, so naturally the things that made me feel fulfilled have changed.  And getting back into the habit of keeping up with the things that still do make me feel good can be tough too.  But life is a process. A beautiful, messy, amazing, hard, tragic, magnificent, magical, funny, sad, incredible process.

To start the process, get involved with hobbies and activities that make you feel good, that make you feel alive.  Always be curious. Ask questions, and learn new things.  When we stop learning is when we stop growing and living.

It almost sounds too simple doesn’t it? But some of the best things in life and the most simple.  There will still be bad days, bad moments, even bad times. But there will be a lot more good than bad if we are willing to follow how we want our life to feel.  And if it doesn’t make you feel good – then get rid of it. Whether it is a job, career, partner, whatever.

Life is short, make it good.