Why You Must Stop Chasing Happiness

I have a family member who is really good at making promises, but his follow-through skills are not exactly stellar.

I’ve also worked with people in the past who would never return my calls or emails, no matter how desperate the situation.

I have a friend who always says he’s going to do big things, but never does. All talk and no action. He has the dreaming part down, but the doing… meh.

And do you want to know the truth?

I’ve done the same.

And to be 100 percent honest, I’ve been a shitty employee, a crappy father, and an irresponsible business owner at times.

But here’s where things started to change for me…

I stopped chasing happiness.

Oh, good lord Craig, what the hell are you talking about?

I used to be so in my head, so self-critical, and so wanting to be happy all the time, I was never… you guessed it… happy.

Can you relate?

I used to think everyone was out to get me. Did you? Do you?

I used to focus on my woes, my fears, my terrible unhappy life that was getting the best of me. Have you? Do you now?

When someone dispensed criticism I pouted, then got angry and vowed revenge. I also wanted to prove them wrong. Thing is, they really couldn’t care less about me.

You?

Even the seemingly meekest, quietest, most mild-mannered beings can be dominated by the ego.

Yep.

So what about you?

I don’t care if you’re a social butterfly or a computer programmer hunkered down in his office bunker, if you experience some or all of the feelings above, you’re creating your own prison.

The three people above (you know, the irresponsible ones who lacked follow-through) … um, this was me and might be — or once was — you.

Many times my lack of follow-through was because I felt scorned.

Other times it was because I was unhappy, so I’d yo-yo, being a productive citizen one day and the next — wasting hours pursuing what I thought I was missing, desperate in my search, reading books, articles, blog posts.

Often I was in such a Walter Mitty-like dream state, so in my head, I let everything else go.

I always thought I was just an introspective guy no one understood, but in reality I was just some “woe is me” sap trapped in his self-made penitentiary… A perpetual freeze-frame.

I was always trying to run-down happiness.

But strangely enough, I was feasting on my own misery.

So, stop chasing, practice acceptance and get on with your life.