True happiness – are you sure you haven’t found it?

True happiness – are you sure you haven’t found it?

They say true happiness is a state of mind. What if it’s a fleeting state of mind? Does that still count?


Last Thursday night, as we were turning in, my hubby suggested that we head out to dinner the following night.

Fine by me.

The following morning, as we were getting up, he decided he’d rather stay in.

Fine by me.

A few hours into the day, he gave me a call. “Screw it, he said.  Let’s go out.” Guess what I said?

Fine by me. And I really meant it.

Earlier that day it had occurred to me (before he changed the mind that he’d changed just that morning) that we had made no specific plans for the weekend. I ran through our agenda in my head, the highlights of which included several dog walks, a yoga class, a few episodes of The Crown, and lots of sleep.

Thrilling right? I remember thinking to myself at that precise moment, good grief, you’re boring. And then, practically within the same breath, no you’re not. You’re just happy.

true happiness image #2

If true happiness had a look, this might be it. Photo credit: Nick Gesell

I have to admit, I was taken a little aback by my own response. It’s not that I’d considered myself to be unhappy; it’s just that I’d considered myself to be in pursuit of happiness — the very concept of which suggests I haven’t found it yet. But then this happens and I suddenly think, I’m already there!

Tens of thousands of books have been written on finding true happiness.

The search for true happiness is talked and written about so much, you’d think it was as hard to come by as a cure for cancer. Is it, or are we just getting swept up in a movement?

I didn’t simply survive my uneventful weekend; I enjoyed it. The dog walks, the yoga, the continuing story of Queen Elizabeth (oh, Philip, whatever will you do next?), even the sleep — there was lots to love about it.

And this got me thinking that if I can tap into happiness so easily, what exactly is ‘it’ that I’m looking for? And why are so many privileged people in our culture so obsessed with searching for ‘it?’

Random man searching for true happiness

As I contemplated this, I came across an article in which the author, Steven Sinek, talks about the difference between happiness and fulfillment. Happiness, he says, is a temporary feeling. Fulfillment, on the other hand, is deeper and longer lasting. I don’t want to get caught up in his semantics, but essentially he differentiates between momentary joy and an enduring sense of satisfaction that comes with having a purpose.

And although Sinek doesn’t say so specifically, I couldn’t help but take away the message that pursuing enduring joy, a bigger sense of purpose, fulfillment — whatever you choose to call it — will deliver you to higher moral ground.

Is someone really better for pursuing deeper, longer lasting satisfaction over moments of happiness, though? I’m not so sure, but I think the pressure is definitely on. At least, I feel it and I wonder, does anybody else?

Do you ever feel you should be pursuing something bigger and more meaningful?

If so, I ask you to stop for a moment and ask yourself why. Is it because, in your truest, most authentic heart of all hearts, you feel called to be or do something bigger? If so, I can totally respect that. Is it because you feel there’s something missing in your life and you have an inkling there’s something bigger you need to do? If so, I get and respect that, too. Or is it because you feel just an eensy weensy bit pressured to be remarkable because if you don’t go deep, you are by, process of elimination, shallow?

Pause.

If that’s you, I get where you’re coming from. I’ve been where you’re coming from. I’m still a little bit at where you’re coming from. But I’d like to suggest that maybe you and I are just fine the way we are. There may be tens of thousands of books, podcasts, Oprahs and yes, bloggers, waiting to teach us how to live large, but that doesn’t mean we have to.

A small life made up of joyful moments, hey, there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s where your true happiness lies — true being the operative word.

Viv for today xo


Speaking of true happiness, here’s a glimpse into 10 things that make me happy!

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By | 2018-05-03T22:02:53+00:00 January 27th, 2018|8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Bev January 29, 2018 at 10:51 am - Reply

    thanks Viv!

    • Viv January 29, 2018 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Well thank YOU for stopping by, Bev 🙂

  2. Liz McGregor January 31, 2018 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Love this!!!!!!! I mean, wow, maybe I am happy too:) Thanks Vivienne!

    Liz

    • Viv January 31, 2018 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      I hope so, Liz!

  3. Laura February 2, 2018 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Great post Viv. We are bombarded with messages that in order to be happy we need to work harder, be richer, slimmer, and if we don’t reach for our dreams we are missing out. Well, it’s taken me 50 years to realize it, but I’m happy just the way I am. I have a nice home, a loving family and good food to eat. What more do I really need to be happy? When I reflect, my happiest, most memorable moments have been time spent with my friends and family doing rather mundane things. Speaking of which, I’m so happy at the thought of a planned trip to the market tomorrow morning to shop for fresh meat and veg and spend a few hours with my lovely friend 🙂

    • Viv February 2, 2018 at 3:02 pm - Reply

      Looking forward to a marvellously mundane time with you, my friend x

  4. Toni Blay February 5, 2018 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Yep. I’m blissfully, boringly happy. Thanks for reminding me Viv. Tho confess to wanting a little more warmth so I can dance to “Happy” outside! 🤸🏼‍♀️💃🏻🙏🏼

    • Viv February 5, 2018 at 7:15 pm - Reply

      I’ve seen photos of you striking yoga poses in a snowy yard. I know you’ve got it in you to dance to Happy outside!

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