December 11th, 2020 Friday 6:05am
Happiness is not the goal.
Someone suggested I watch a TED Talk the other day and it was yet another 20 minute talk on the miracle “5 steps to helping you attain happiness”. Uggh.
I clicked on it trying to be as open minded as possible. But of course, as you would suspect, this brilliant orator with amazing stage presence, went down the same rabbit hole of life coaching crap and cliché’s that truly just disappoints as well as annoys me nowadays. All of it ridiculous.
Let me be very clear: there are NOT five ways to attain happiness in your life. Period.
Here’s the simple truth: happiness should not be the goal in life. Happiness, like sadness, is a byproduct of a living a life. Let me say it again: Happiness, like sadness, is a byproduct of living! You cannot know happiness without knowing sadness. Nor would you understand sadness without happiness.
And to be clear, happiness is not about having more stuff. Money will not bring you happiness. My experience with having worked for so many high-end wealth clients for many years only solidifies this fact. They too are just as confused as to how happiness works.
The goal in life should be to learn how to get through any and all circumstances as they present themselves along the journey no matter what comes our way. The ability to handle a crisis or to fully embrace a moment of joy and still continue to move on our journey IS the actual goal. How we choose to deal with death, heartache, loss of a job, family issues, etc., is just as important as how we enjoy the blessings – no matter how small – when they show up. Do we celebrate that raise? Embrace a birth? Do we fully go all in when it’s our birthday or do we scream from the rooftops in joy when we accomplish something? Who are we in all of those circumstances? How do we move through those moments when they happen? Good or bad.
Can you imagine if you met a person who was consistently happy all the time? You’d think they were crazy or fake or lying – or all three. No one can be consistently happy, all the time. Nor should we be consistently sad either.
My problem with most of these “talks” on happiness – is that I have yet to hear one of these people talk about why learning to embrace happiness is important. They never talk about how vital it is to understand our sadness. They consistently miss the true lesson that life has its ups and downs and if you’re alive, you’ve probably experienced many sides of both of these. If you’ve lived any kind of life at all, you will experience both sadness and happiness… it’s a part of life.
Every day we awake, we have no idea what may happen. But if we can learn to embrace the journey itself, if we can see the pearls of joy when they appear and understand the crippling lesson of pain and suffering and learn to walk through it all anyways, then we’ve actually learned a skill that can help us – that’s when we will fully thrive. That’s when we’re living our best lives.