December 6     

Today's quotation:

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but rather a manner of traveling.

Samuel Johnson

Today's Meditation:

We're never going to "reach" happiness.  Some of us think that we can do so-- if we only do things right now, we'll have enough money, just the right spouse, a nice house, the perfect job-- and we'll finally be happy.  But when we think this way, we tend not to see the blessings that abound in our lives every day, and we fail to see that everything that we need to be happy is here in our lives every single day.

I used to fall into the trap myself.  I used to think that as soon as certain things happened, I'd finally leave behind frustration and depression and be happy with my life.  But those things didn't happen, and I had to learn the hard way sometimes that my happiness was mostly my decision, mostly the ways that I looked at my life and all that was in it.  The conditions of my life might not have been exactly what I wanted or exactly what I thought they should be, but they were plenty rich enough for me to be quite a happy person.  I just didn't see it because I was waiting for conditions to be met before I would even consider being happy with the way things are.

I've flown to Europe quite a few times, and it's always nice to have a European city as my destination.  When I get on the plane, though, I know I have quite a bit of time to spend there, so I do my best to enjoy the journey, as well.  I have a good book ready, I find out what movies I might watch, I have good music ready.  I don't want the journey to be a drag, because there's too much to enjoy during that journey for me to miss out on it.

The way we see things has much to do with how we live our lives.  If we think that we have to defer happiness to a time when certain conditions are met, then we're going to be unable to be happy right here and right now, which is really the only time we do have to be happy.  Our journeys can be extremely challenging and we may have some very specific goals in mind, but we do need to remember that the paths we are on hold many beautiful and wonderful experiences and people and places, and it's up to us to do our best to be happy with where we are and what we have, even while we're still working towards the goals that we look forward to reaching.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so easy to think, "I'll be happy when this happens, but not until then"?  How does this mindset affect our journeys?

What are some of the wonderful things in your world right now, on the path that you're on right now?

What are some goals that you're looking forward to in your future?

For further thought:

The paths by which people journey toward happiness lie in part through the world about them and in part through the experience of their own soul.

Carl Hilty

more thoughts and ideas on happiness



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