Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happiness and Goals

Do we want to make someone laugh? Just tell them that we want to be happy as a life goal. We may be told that's for kids. Don't be a dreamer. We may be told its too vague. We may be lectured on proper goals such as success, emotional or spiritual fulfillment. We can end up accepting someone else's definition of success.

But why do we want things. Things like:

  • a great relationship
  • time for family
  • travel the world
  • to be wealthy 
  • to be successful

If we keep asking the question why; we would discover that we ultimately want to be happy. If we just accept what we are told will make us happy and make it our goal then we act as if it is true. We have our route to the top of the mountain. 

We don't understand how some people are content with very little and can think that they lack ambition, opportunity, or the ability to achieve greatness. Instead they may have found they don't need to climb your mountain.

They are already on their mountain top and enjoying their life right now. They realize that goals and things do not create happiness. It is the moment to moment enjoyment and accomplishments we can have in our life right now doing whatever we are doing.

if we find we are not enjoying the ride up our particular mountain then we may need to choose a different definition of happiness. It is our life, our choice.

"People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


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9 conversations:

Maile said...

What a great quote at the end of your post--and your line, "it's our life, our choice." Thank you!

It can get very discouraging to have people laughing at and challenging my goal of happiness (though I usually learn from the challenges). It's nice to have a little reminder that others' disagreement doesn't mean my failure.

Peter Haslam said...

Yes maile it is one of mine as well

HollyGL said...

It's so true that the smallest of things can create true heartfelt joy in the moment. A scoop of BR Jaimoca Almond Fudge ice cream on a hot day generates within me such a feeling of unparalleled bliss, it doesn't matter what's going on in my life. I am a deeply contented soul.

Comedy + said...

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort. Franklin D. Roosevelt

And because I do goofy things here is another one of my favorites: Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city. George Burns

Excellent post Peter. Right on the money as usual. You are quite the master you know. :)

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks hollygl and Sandee for joining the conversation with your additions

Jennifer said...

Hi Peter... great post.

I find it interesting that it seems our very society tells us we should not be happy unless we have more of everything. The message is, to NOT be content because if we feel we must have more we will buy more and try to get that which we feel we must have to be happy.

I like your thought that it is OK to be on a different mountain!

Thanks Peter,


Peter Haslam said...

it is not as crowded jennifer thanks for your comment

San Pedro homes said...

The key to happiness is to try to be happy. How can we expect to live a happy life if we brood and nag all the time? Its part and parcel of life to come across success and failures. I don't think flashing our pearls only when we achieve success is happiness, its actually a material satisfaction. I believe happiness means knowing how to strike a balance with our lifestyle. Knowing our limits when we aim high so that in case of failures it doesn't shatter us. In order to start feeling happy we should be able to count all the small blessing which we come across everyday. If we cannot acknowledge small packages of happiness we can never be happy in life.

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