So How Do You Define it?

Gel pen and metallic ink on black sketch paper – words: Guillaume Apollinaire

“Happy New Year!” We’ve all heard that phrase over the past few days. How wonderful to watch people’s reactions when you wish them happiness, it reminds them that they deserve to be happy. I talk to a lot of people who want to be happy. When they say that to me I usually ask how do they define happy? And that usually brings about a few moments of silence, then they say, “That’s a really good question.”

When I read these words it reminded me that we do spandexes a great deal of time pursuing happiness, AND we need to spend more time just pausing things in our world and enjoy being happy. Pursuing and being are two very different states of being.

During our pause to be happy, we need to reflect on our blessings. We may not have everything we want out of life, that may be a daily struggle; however, we can count our blessings to remind us that a portion of our definition of “happy” may already be the life we lead. I had a friend tell me that she worked hard all her life to have a life like the one she lives today. She then paused, and sighed, and asked why she felt so unhappy? I reminded her that the pursuit of happiness is often more exciting, dramatic, energetic, even filled with adventure than the living out of happiness. It is not just getting what you want that makes us happy, it is wanting what we have once we have it.

So here comes the question you need to ask yourself. How do you define happy, and what are you willing to do or change to be happy? Is it a possession thing, the right job, the right spouse, the right friends, activities, church, clothes, places to go or things to do? Is it an amount in your 401k? Your investment portfolio? Is it doing what you want, when you want, with whomever you want? Or is your happiness defined by something inside yourself that you have not yet been able to describe?

Let me encourage you to pause, think, and write down your own definition of happy. You do not have to share it with anyone, or publicize it. In fact, it is probably better that you don’t. When we are happy with ourselves, our life and our choices it shows. When we are unhappy in those areas it shows as well. If you know your happy, then be happy. If you do not know your happy, then figure it out and be happy. The pursuit is part of life, the knowing is what makes life worthwhile.

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