THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Getting There Is Half The Fun

Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing it is not the fish they are after. Henry David Thoreau

So much is being written about the research on happiness recently that I decided to comment on the topic. There seems to be no clear conclusions or agreed upon strategies. The problem is that happiness is hard to specifically define and it is difficult to generalize from the research data. Some people are happy by helping others, some by killing others. Fame or wealth doesn’t always bring happiness. Research has shown that people can’t predict what will make them happy. Once a happy outcome is achieved, the happiness often fades. Studies are not positive about the percentage of Americans who are happy.

Maybe today we should go from seeking happiness to finding happiness in the seeking. I want to emphasize pursuing happiness, not achieving happiness. Since I am a devotee of quotations, I will employ the “unscientific” conclusions of people whom I admire.

I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness. The Dalai Lama

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt

The only thing worse than not getting what you want is getting it.  G. B. Shaw

When you are not happy getting what you want, it is a sign that you didn’t know what you wanted. The journey may be more important than the destination.

What we are seeking so frantically elsewhere may turn out to be the horse we have been riding all along. Harvey Cox.

Perhaps what we already have may be a source of happiness. The grass is not always greener on the other side. Enjoy where you are; happiness may be there.

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3 Responses to THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

  1. Eugene Unger says:

    Happiness falls way short in The wake of pure joy! Gone in an instant , leaving a new happiness goal in its wake.

    Gene

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  2. Eugene Unger says:

    Good writing my friend.

    Gene

    >

  3. Robert Leon says:

    Hi Partner,       Coincidental to my responding to your blog on happiness,  I just ran across an article in the November 25 issue of the Nation magazine (page 27)—long article.  He discusses many books written as well as the history of the idea.  Among other things, he discusses the issue I was going to bring up with you.  What is the definition of happiness?  He suggests that Christians do not worry about happiness—that  is what heaven for. (Gene?) Anyway,  I think you will find it worthwhile, and I will try to read the whole thing before I see you again.                                      Bob 

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