In Pursuit Of Happiness

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Over the last 20 years, the idea of having to be happy has slowly become a real movement. It doesn’t matter in which area of life you look at; we have to be happy.

I guess because everybody is pursuing it so much that most people must be really unhappy. Unhappy with their work, their partner and themselves.
What has changed over the last 20 years that this subject has become such a magnet?

I’ve heard about many different theories trying to explain this phenomenon, but none give the answer or explain what we could do about it. For some, happiness is something they have to find and others believe that it is already in us.

If happiness is already in us, it must be based on either something we have done in the past or on something we’re doing right now. If it isn’t in us, it must be something we thrive too, something that requires some action to get where it is. I also heard the theory that happiness is being thankful for what you have, also called gratitude.

Happiness has been identified as a feeling, and like any feeling exists only during a very short timespan. Feelings come and go and what some perceive as happiness is for others the exact opposite.

If you dig deeper, you’ll find that happiness is a form of relaxed contentment. Being for a moment in a state where nothing matters, where everything is just alright. It’s a very positive feeling, and I can understand why we’re all trying so hard to repeat these moments.

The only explanation I found that works in all cases are to understand that feelings arise in waves. It’s a fundamental requirement of nature that for something to exist, the opposite must exist too.

That means we need to accept the bad things to get to the good things. It also means that everything must move forward. As soon as it stands still the wave can no longer exist, and it all collapses to a flat line.

If we look at the different points made here, I can see the following result:

“Gratitude” is what has happened or what we have achieved in the past. It’s meant to ground us, define our current position and our value.

“Happiness in you” is the possibility to create happiness at any given time. For example helping someone in need, being intimate with your partner, flirting, reading or listening to inspiring content, going for a run or doing any other challenging sport. All of this can create instant happiness. It’s usually only for a very short period after which gratitude might extend the period for a bit longer.

“Thriving for happiness” is the opportunity to set yourself a desirable goal where the thought of achieving it alone gives you a tint of happiness but also drives you towards it. As you get nearer, any negative feeling is perceived as a happy feeling as long as the drive to achieve the goal is strong enough. It works well until you’ve reached your goal.

Again that’s when gratitude comes in to extend that feeling for just a bit longer.

I’ve concluded that happiness is all of it. Happiness is in us, behind us and in front of us. If you show gratitude for the things you’ve achieved in the past and are thankful for your current position and if you do things that make you happy at any possible moment while walking towards a desirable and inspiring goal, you create a constant flow of happiness.

They all support each other, and if put into daily practice, you will generate a much happier life.

It is solemnly on you to be happy in your life. No need to search, it is already here. What do you do to be happy?

John Di Stefano

An entrepreneur at heart and founder of the Entrepreneur Academy in Brussels, Belgium. He is teaching and supporting entrepreneurs in the skills every entrepreneur needs to create a better life for themselves and the people around them.

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