The Pursuit of Happiness v2.0

Morning routines are the on trend these days. It seems like each wealthy and/or famous person has a morning routine that has been a contributing factor in their success.

Nearly every morning routine you can read about includes meditation. What it also includes is a bunch of stuff geared at making you happier. But what’s odd is that while they include both meditation, and a stated aim of making you happier, those dots are rarely connected.

For the vast majority of us, happiness is not something that needs to be pursued. In fact, pursuing happiness is as odd a concept as pursuing one’s nose. It’s right there in front of you, a part of you, if you just realize it’s there. Often, just meditating alone can help you to realize that.

What gets in the way, for most of us, is desire. We desire certain things. We desire material objects, we desire other people, we desire physical sensations.

We also desire situations. We desire having a certain job, having the admiration of various other people. We desire notoriety, expertise, and other peoples’ acknowledgment of those things in us.

But here’s the crazy thing, we desire both those things, and those situations, but in both cases, they are things that we don’t have. When we do get some of them, our focus then changes to those things that we don’t have. And when we achieve more, we tend to then want more. We replace previous hurdles to happiness with new ones.

All that does is create space between happiness and us.

This is not abnormal, it is something that so many of us do. But the process of stopping it is fairly simple. Just think of your nose. Like your nose, happiness is there waiting for you. Just realize it. You are here, you are alive, conscious, and able to feel. So choose to feel that the present moment is enough for now.

Choose to acknowledge that you are inclined to make your happiness contingent upon some future outcome, but then break that connection. Sure, it would be great if you got that book deal, or made a six figure income next year, but why hold out on being happy until those things happen? Why not just take the time to appreciate where you are, be happy now, and then also be happy when you achieve your goals? It is possible, I promise.

Over 200 years ago, when the notion of “the pursuit of happiness” was first coined as a cultural motto, we as humans lived a more closed-off existence. Today, we have access to more ideas, more opportunities to be enlightened and learn how to live better. Let’s not let that opportunity escape us. Just remember your nose.

All of this is to say the following. These days, I’m no longer pursuing happiness, I’m pursuing other things, with happiness as my beneficent companion. Never too far away to call upon.

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