The Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness is a state, not a trait. In other words, it isn’t a long-lasting, permanent feature or personality trait, but a more fleeting, changeable state.

Happiness is equated with feelings of pleasure or contentment, it is not to be confused with joy, ecstasy, bliss, or other more intense feelings.

It can be either a feeling or an action, meaning that it is not necessarily an exclusive internal or external experience, but can be both.

Researchers find it difficult to agree on the scope of happiness.

Happiness is a state characterized by contentment and general satisfaction with one’s current situation.

I personally believe that it is an important goal to achieve in one’s life.

What Makes You Happy?

One day I decided to ask my spouse, “What do you think makes you happy?” He said, “Well, I know what makes you happy.” I responded, “Oh really, what is that?”

I was curious about what he would say. He replied, “Do you remember when we were on the beach last summer? The one that seemed to go on for miles?” I said, “Yes, I do. I remember it was beautiful, the most beautiful beach I had ever seen. It had white sand and wonderfully clear, blue water. We dug our feet in the sand and felt the warmth and comfort wrap around our feet, just like a warm blanket. We looked at each other and smiled like we had died and gone to heaven. Suddenly both saw people floating sideways on air mattresses and lifesavers in the ocean. We looked at each other, and said, ‘What???’”

A Bizarre Scene

We were so at peace, but the feeling was disturbed by this bizarre scene. We both simultaneously jumped off our beach towels and went to investigate.

We stood in astonishment as we saw people floating sideways against the ocean tide. I, who had grown up next to the sea, was puzzled and said, “how is that possible?” My spouse explained, “When the rising tide forces itself up the river it looks like the ocean is flowing into the river.” I said, “Oh wow, I see!” It looked like the river was fighting to get into the sea, and the sea was trying to go up the river. “That is a cool phenomenon,” I said. My spouse replied, “Yes, it is!”               

 I ran down the beach to the river and watched people jump in. I did the same. I dove right into the icy water and floated away. It was as so exhilarating and exciting!

My spouse finally caught up to me and laughed as I floated by him as he walked on the shore. He commented, “You are like a little kid!” I laughed out loud and smiled; I was so happy at that moment. I did not want this day to end. I wish I could be as content every day as I was at that moment. I wish that we could all stay innocent and happy like we were in childhood.     

Life\’s Adventures                        

I was becoming quite dull in my middle age but this was very exciting! I used to be an adventurous creature back in my youth. I would scuba dive, parachute, and backpack through Europe. When I became older, I settled down and no longer participated in potentially dangerous activities.

I was always extremely happy as a child. I could not wait to get out of bed every morning, to see what new adventures the day would bring. Every night before going to sleep, I would think of what exciting things I would experience the next day. I still do that every night.

As a mother, I always talk with my children about what a great day tomorrow will be and the wonderful experiences the next day will bring them. My children smile when I say this. It is a great way to end the day before going to sleep!   

A Youthful Mindset                              

I always keep a youthful mindset, no matter what age I am. My mother, who is 75, is still the same as when we were young. She does not look her age at all; she does not act her age either but is mature in wisdom. She is up on technology and is happy every day. She is never in a bad mood. She is my idol!        

In my life, I have been poor, middle class, rich, poor, and middle class again. I can honestly say through my experiences that money certainly does not buy happiness!

Only you can make yourself “happy” with your attitude, thoughts, and feelings.

Ebb and Flow

Later, I began to think about life and how it is like the tidal forces I saw at the beach last summer. I thought of how we always go against the ebb and flow in life. If you want to enjoy the ride downstream, you have to make an effort to first travel upstream.

Life is like this with the ups, downs, and challenges the universe sends you. Everyone is constantly floating along the river of life.

We are always striving for happiness. Sometimes it is difficult to maintain. But it is worth the struggle as when it is achieved, there is no better feeling in the world. It is life’s ultimate goal.

Make yourself happy!


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