Monday, June 20, 2011

Happiness Is Not Right Around the Corner

If you haven't ever read Tiny Buddha, I suggest you take a few minutes to check it out. Trust me, the pearls of wisdom I've found there are well worth the time. Last week they shared an article on realizing you're complete and it struck a nerve with me.

For much of my life I've put my energy into getting to some endpoint, all the while holding off on trying new things or taking chances until that magical point when everything would be perfectly in line to do so. I waited for the right time, the right place, the right relationship, the right number on the scale. And as those destinations continued to evade me, I let opportunities pass me by and made excuses for not working toward my goals. "Someday I'll" and "when I finally" prefaced all my plans. I don't know exactly what I was waiting for, but I knew that once I found it, once I reached that journey's end I'd finally--FINALLY--be happy.

But I never got where I thought I was headed, and so I never seemed to find that illusive happiness. Until recently anyway. Until I stopped hanging my happiness on some achievement I might make in the future and started finding it in everyday experiences. When I began looking for happiness in each moment and stopped expecting it to magically appear when everything was just right, I found out I could be happy right now. I didn't have to wait for anything.

There will always be something new to strive for, some goal unreached, some dream unrealized. It turns out that if I can't find happiness where I'm at, then no achievement or momentous occasion or experience or anything will ever make me truly happy. So I choose each day to do whatever I can to find happiness. That way, when I finally reach those goals and see my dreams come true, I'll be able to experience the happiness of those accomplishments even more deeply. Happiness is not right around the corner, waiting for me at some end-point. It is right here, right now.

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