Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.- Margaret B. Runbeck
Is it possible to be happy all the time?
Happiness and the method to achieve it has been thrown around for thousands of years, with millions of people, promising a million different ways of how to be happy.
But what does it mean to be happy?
Not everyone’s definition of happiness is the same, because everyone has different desires that they want to be fulfilled. An idea that comes in moments rather than being an end result, right?
If happiness is something that comes in moments, how do we turn those moments into permanent destinations?
Is it possible to be happy all the time?
I’m not so sure. I am going to say more than likely, no. I don’t know about you, but if I were happy all the time, something would feel wrong. Not because finding happiness and fulfillment isn’t the most sought after feeling in the world, it most definitely is, but because were not made that way.
The problem of desires
What I mean is that we are made up of what we desire, essentially. We consistently seek pleasure while doing the best we can to avoid pain. Anytime we move to do anything, we do so because there is a desire of pleasure to come of it. Some of these pleasures come naturally to us and don’t really seem like pleasures but without them we would be in pain.
So, we seek out ways to keep our desires filled and try to find ways of how to fill the bigger desires, always looking for more pleasure. But that’s how it should be. We are humans and we want to feel pleasure, we want to be happy.
The problem with the constant need to feel pleasure, is that once we fill a desire, it starts to fade and a new desire forms. Here’s an example: I wait all year to go to my favorite vacation spot. When the time gets close, I get more and more excited. I am ready, I know I’ll have fun, I have all kinds of activities planned. Once I get to my desired destination and do everything I was so excited to do there, I feel happy.
But then what happens? The vacation comes to a close and it’s time to come home. Back to reality, we say. As I think about it though, I am actually glad to get back to my “normal” life. The activities were fun, but I am tired, sore, sunburned and need to rest.
My desire has changed from wanting to have the greatest time of my life, to wanting to just go home and sleep in my own bed. The point here is that because I filled my desire, I no longer need it. It goes away and a new one emerges.
This is happening on a constant basis. Sure, I will get the urge for another vacation sooner or later (probably sooner), but more than likely, I will want to do something different or go somewhere new.
Why happiness is an elusive idea
Since happiness comes in moments due to a desire that becomes fulfilled and then fades away, you could say that happiness is an elusive idea. Perhaps that’s why we always hear about someone’s pursuit of happiness. Now, just because happiness seems like an elusive goal, does not mean it is, let me explain.
The elusiveness that I speak of is merely the way in which our desires are fulfilled and then reprieved, as if to say that happiness comes and then goes in spurts or moments, as I mentioned earlier. Knowing this can allow you to be happy in your life before, during, and after your pursuit of it, whether you are able to fill certain desires or not.
Why it doesn’t matter if you win or lose
What matters is that you know the game, so to speak, of what it takes to be happy. To be happy is to be content with the fact that no matter if a desire is filled, or a goal failed, or dream denied, you know that happiness is a constant journey. A journey that can take a brief second or a lifetime, depending on what you desire.
True happiness comes in those small moments, real happiness comes in knowing how to reach those moments. As long as you know this, you can live a lifelong adventure that is full of happiness, joy, and fulfillment.
What does it take?
Pleasure and pain. Happy and sad. The struggle of life. Just like Yin and Yang, to be happy we need to experience sadness. It is knowing what it takes to be happy in your life, that pushes you through the sad times. So what does it take?
Pursuit of …
Listen to …
Work with …
What it Means to Live through Desires
Knowing that happiness is a journey; knowing where joy comes in the form of fulfilled desires (and that it comes in moments), will allow you to feel a sense of gratitude throughout your path.
Remember that you will not always be happy, but can feel better knowing that you are in constant pursuit of reaching your dreams, both big and small.
Living through your desires will allow you to do what you never thought you were capable of, and see a side of yourself you never knew existed. You’ll be a part of something greater – which will lead you down a path of never ending possibilities.
Your life is what you make of it. As long as you see what leads you to happiness, you will never stop pursuing it.
Through search and pursuit, listening and learning, connecting and helping, your journey through life will be one of fulfillment. To keep moving forward is the key.
Find joy in the moments, clarity in times of sorrow, and happiness in the rewards of the path.
About the Author
Justin Harmon is the founder of Unplugged Recreated. His passion for changing the world and helping others change their world is reflected in his writing. Stop by to join the discussion and sign up to receive the free e-book: An Integral Reality. The Ultimate Guide to Changing Our Future