Ever since I graduated college, I have been obsessed with figuring out what makes me happy. I think the pursuit of happiness is by far the most important pursuit. And the pursuit started only after college because that was the first time I could truly be or do anything I wanted.
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” -Aristotle
When I was at Ernst & Young, it was kind of freaking me out that I wasn’t that happy…or as happy as I could be…based on my past happiness.
But the question, “How Happy Are You” is unreliable.
I cannot measure my happiness in absolute terms, so I have to answer in relative terms. I have to think, “Compared to Bob, I’m so happy, but compared to Doug, I’m not.” Or I have to think, “Compared to when I broke my foot 3 days before my Bar Mitzvah (true story!), I’m happy, but compared to when I thought I fell in love I’m not.”
And am I thinking of my momentary happiness, my happiness over the last hour, or my happiness over the past year? If it is momentary happiness, what if I have spent the last minute reflecting on bad childhood memories? Should I say that I am unhappy? Maybe 10 minutes from now I will be reflecting on fond memories. Should I then say that I am happy?
What makes me happy might not make you happy. And what makes you happy might not make me happy.
I believe one sure way to be unhappy is to settle for mediocrity. Actually, I think settling in any facet of your life is a sure way to be unhappy. That’s unforgivable.
I think the subject of happiness is fascinating. After all, we are all here only one time. Why wouldn’t you want to be as happy as possible? I’m determined to live the best and happiest life I can. I want to live the life of my dreams. I have way too much at stake not to.
Don’t we all though?
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