Ripples #967: The Evolution of Happiness!
Dec 4, 2017
You’re not happier because you turn your brain off. You’re happier because you encourage yourself to think more deeply about what actually matters.
-Charles Duhigg, shared by Holly in Phoenix, AZ
The art of living does not consist of preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change; happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.
-Charles Morgan, shared by John in Denver, CO
Of course we want to be happy. Of course we do! The pursuit of happiness is such a compelling quest that Thomas Jefferson even wrote it into the Declaration of Independence!
While I agree that being happy is a worthy outcome of a satisfying life, it’s also true that pursuing happiness tends to make a better by-product than a goal in and of itself. This is because the highest level of happiness you’ll find by just trying to be happy is a more hedonistic, or pleasure-based type of happiness that tends to be very fleeting: “I’m happy because I have this object or that amount of money or I just ate my favorite food.” Deeper, more sustainable, more meaningful states of happiness are more attainable when we pursue deeper, more sustainable, more meaningful goals.
The puzzles and games that keep us entertained and engaged when we are younger no longer hold our attention and eventually lose their magic. As we grow up, we need to find more complicated puzzles and more challenging games to enjoy. Similarly, as we go through (and hopefully grow through) life, the pursuits that have the potential to cultivate and sustain happiness will need to evolve as well.
Give some thought this week to your current and desired levels of happiness. Ask yourself what new actions and thoughts might help you grow into a deeper level of happiness, and what actions and thoughts you might need to graduate from in order to more easily make some changes.
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I received an ENORMOUS outpouring of support in response to last week’s Ripples where I disclosed that I’ve been dealing with some significant health issues. The replies definitely gave me a boost, and I’m already feeling so much better. I have every reason to expect that I’ll be close to 100% by the time I hit the road for the start of my 2018 presentations! THANKS TEAM RIPPLES!