The happiness of pursuit

Chasing happiness was my modus operandi for many years. I had big dreams and high expectations, and believed that happiness was something to be found in the end, after all the hard work. Happiness wasn’t part of the journey.

I’ll be happy when I get accepted into school.

I’ll be happy when this project is done. 

I’ll be happy when I’m done school. 

I’ll be happy when I’m married.

I’ll be happy when I have kids.

I’ll be happy when I’m an NP.  

I’ll be happy when I’m making better money. 

I’ll be happy when the new boss starts. 

I’ll be happy when I get more vacation time. 

I’ll be happy when I’m doing anything other than what I’m doing now….

Sound familiar?

Flash forward to now and I’ve learned that the reason I chased happiness was that I wasn’t filled from gratitude.

Many of us think that happiness is on the other side of the extraordinary, life-changing moments. We believe we’ll be happy when we’ve achieved something we’ve longed or worked hard for. But we’re not.

If you think about some of the most remarkable moments in your life, do you remember feeling sort of let down afterwards? Or think to yourself – that was it?

We all feel that way if we’re not practicing gratitude.

When we’re not grateful for the small moments, we hustle for the amazing, life-changing moments and end up disappointed.

Happiness lies in quiet moments. It’s right there in front of us, but it’s easy to miss in the daily grind and when life gets hard.

If I can give one piece of advice it would be to start a daily practice of gratitude.

There’s plenty of research showing that consciously thinking or writing about what we’re grateful for is how we feel happy right here, right now.

It’s that simple.

Happiness is there on the hardest, most challenging days and in the frustrating moments, if we’re paying attention to all that we have.