Obsessed with Being Happy
A few days ago, I read a blog by one of my favorite local bloggers, Tyler Ward, entitled Happiness is a Terrible Guide. If you follow me on Twitter, you may have already seen it, but if not, definitely give it a read. Essentially, he discussed how the pursuit of happiness will usually bring anything but happiness to your life. In fact, we have become obsessed with being happy, and we use it as a benchmark to measure our success. Ward quoted Victor Frankl, who said, "It is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to 'be happy'. But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to 'be happy'."
This sentiment is exactly why I titled my blog, "Love What You Live", rather than the ever-so-popular mantra, "Live What You Love". People who live what they love are on a constant pursuit of happiness, always striving to do things that will bring them pleasure and be guided by those that will lead them to the elusive land of euphoria. In contrast, people who strive to love the life they live find peace in the blessings and trials that they have been given. Happiness is not their guide, passion is. This passion leads them to find the bright side in every opportunity, understand that fire sharpens the sword, and think of this life as a process, not a destination.
Those who experience great happiness in their life are not the ones who are chasing after elusive emotions that will always be a second-hand substitute for true joy. There's a difference between optimism and happiness, one is a decision, the other is an emotion. Emotions are unstable - you cannot base your success upon them. But decisions, they should be guided by your passions, and they will set the stage for your success.