Happiness Is In The Seeking
What we are seeking so frantically elsewhere may turn out to be the horse we have been riding all along. Harvey Cox
What we are seeking so frantically seems to be happiness. The purpose of our existence is to seek happiness, The Dalai Lama. Happiness has been studied and written about forever. Lately it seems to be reaching a peak. What Is happiness? Which country is the happiest? What makes us happy? Is a meaningful life happiness? And many strategies are proposed for reaching happiness. If reading about happiness is helpful, we should all be happy by now.
Life is a journey, not a destination, we have often been told. A journey is a process likened to traveling; a passage.So I think we can say that life is a process (a series of actions, changes or functions bringing about a result). This blog is suggesting that we move from seeking happiness to finding happiness in the seeking, finding pleasure in the process. Evaluating a good life is like evaluating a good decision: based on the process, not the outcome. A good life is the result of a life well lived. A good decision is the result of a decision well made, not on a good outcome. Happiness is what happens while living a life well lived.
“Be focused and flexible about what you want” was one of my four paradoxica principles of decision making in 1991. Being focused on your objective (goals, destination, what you want) keeps you from getting sidetracked easily. But it also prevents you from getting sidetracked to other potentially desirable goals/destinations. So, know what you want, but don’t be sure. Be open to outcome, not attached, Angeles Arrien. Use your goals to guide you, not govern you,
Frantically seeking happiness in our destination or seeking happiness in our journey, is our choice. Instead of seeking happiness, finding happiness in the seeking may make life’s journey more enjoyable. Enjoy the ride. It is well-known that money doesn’t seem to buy happiness. In fact, you don’t buy happiness, you live for it. And the pleasure of getting what you want doesn’t always satisfy. “Be careful what you wish for.”
Finding pleasure in the process is like enjoying the present. It means pleasure is on-going, happening along the way. Happiness is what you do, not what you get. Try it; you might like it.
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet. — James Openheim
There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. — Thich Nhat Hanh