‘The Pursuit of Happiness’ is the driving force behind most human action. This is where we differ from the animal kingdom whose actions are programmed by instinct. We humans, on the other hand, are always striving for what we believe will make us happy. And this I believe is where the problem lies. We spend our lives chasing the things that we think will bring us happiness and contentment, but in fact, these things don’t make us truly happy, they bring us joy. We get joy confused with happiness. I believe that happiness is a state of being. It’s not being dependent on an external factor to allow us to be happy.
It is said that happiness is a journey and not the destination. However, as women, many of us spend our lives searching for happiness in what other people can do or bring to us. We put labels on the things that we say will make us happy. Here are some examples:
- Finances – “If only I could win the lottery or have money then I would be happy”.
- Relationships -“When I am in a relationship I will be happy” or “When my partner ‘fixes up’ then I will be happy”.
- Family – “When I have a baby, then I will be happy.”
Most of us can relate to one or more of the above, where we are in anticipation of an external event to allow us to be happy. “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future. It’s something you design for the present”- Jim Rohn
When we look further into the above we see that the acquisition of money will not bring us happiness. Money gives us is joy, it gives us choices that allow us to do things that we find enjoyable.
Relationships, most of us want to be in a relationship with a significant other. We all want to be in a fulfilling, harmonious and loving relationship. Yes, that relationship can bring us joy, but what do we do when we are preparing to be in that relationship? What is our state of mind? Why wait for someone to come into our lives before we can be happy.
Family, we have our children but often times we wait for things to be ‘perfect’ with them in order for us to be happy. For example, their accaptance to the school of your choosing.
It’s ok to feel the temporary pleasures of joy and I say temporary because when we do not have these things we say that we are unhappy. Happiness is not the nice car, the nice home, the well-behaved children, the relationship, the designer handbag or shoes, the food, the smoking, the drinking etc. Happiness is how we see the world and our experience as we live our lives.
As women, we should not get caught up in the postponement of our happiness. We need to cultivate the ability to show gratitude for what we have now and live each day as if it is our last.
So work like you don’t need money, love like you have never been hurt and dance like nobody is watching.
Until next time!