Maybe we’ve been pursuing the wrong thing.
Pressure to be happy is everywhere: from our families, to commencement speeches to #100happydays on Instagram and daily Facebook posts with Top 10 lists. It’s hard to avoid.
There’s nothing wrong with being happy. But is it possible to be happy all the time?
Happiness comes in waves. To simplify, it’s an emotion. Experiencing emotions all over the spectrum is what make life worth living. It makes us interesting. It shapes us. Negative feelings help amplify positive ones. Every day, month, or chapter of our lives will involve passing through a variety of emotions.
So if happiness isn’t the end game, then what should be?
When I think back to the most memorable experience I’ve had, I don’t particilarly remember feeling happy. But I remember feeling fulfilled.
When you’re fulfilled, you’ve done something significant. Maybe you’ve learned something about yourself. Or become better at a skill. Or influenced someone’s life. Or done something bigger than yourself.
When I look back on my life, I want to reflect on how fulfilling it was.
That’s what matters most.