The Illusion of the Pursuit of Happiness

It seems that happiness is the most desirable state of mind and many do whatever it takes to find it. Yet, this “pursuit of happiness” is often an illusion. For most, especially those of us living in the first world, happiness is not a path but simply a state of mind you can either choose to embrace or repress.

In today’s world, however, we are intensely distracted through television, advertisements, luxury, convenience, and laziness, which all deter us from what is truly important. These distractions allow us as a society to continue living complacent lifestyles. The more we consume and the more we desire, the harder it will be to understand and have compassion for others. Can we truly be happy when we live this way?

Imagine a world without the distractions we live with today. When you take the time to look away from the TV, above the skyscrapers and beyond the paved roads and freeways, you can enjoy life in the simplest way. You can appreciate each cloud, enjoy every rainbow, and be grateful for every rainfall. You find that you are able to open yourself up to strangers, meet amazing people and experience incredible things. Everything and everyone is beautiful: ever-changing yet permanent – perfectly placed in the world.

When you really stop to see these little miracles in nature, you can realize that all of your perceived problems were only distractions from this reality. In fact, some of the happiest and most peaceful societies are ones who live off of the land, seamlessly in tune with the environment. In these societies, survival and sustenance are not guaranteed and there is subsequently little room for greed, hatred, or jealousy. People living in these cultures realize the importance and beauty of every animal and plant in their environments, and they live in ways to protect and preserve them. The fact is that the natural world is always breathtaking; we often just forget to let it take our breath away.

Jim Rohn, an American entrepreneur who went from rags to riches believed that “happiness is not by chance but by choice.” And though not all of us will have the success or ability to become millionaires like Rohn did, it is his philosophy that is necessary to create the changes you wish to make in your own life and the world. Almost everything is in your control: your emotions, reactions, and attitude towards life and people. If you find you are not content with the ways you spend your time or the environment you are in, then change it! Everyone has the power to choose to be happy in any situation, and only when desires and dissatisfaction cloud these situations can unhappiness emerge.

Happiness is not exclusive nor will it fall into your hands one day. It is and always has been available for you to embrace, and once you do, you may never let go. With that said, make your habits and lifestyle reflect what you want in life. Let blame and negativity be a thing of the past. Be positive and surround yourself with positivity. Learn to appreciate life and all it has to offer. Be understanding and compassionate. Do the things you want to do and be the person you want to be; you may find that all is good in the world and chances are, no one is out to get you. And remember, “happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

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One response to “The Illusion of the Pursuit of Happiness

  1. Awesome!
    Life changing article. Thank.

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