(originally published on my blog at www.stealthesethoughts.com)
Ok, so I’ve been thinking about posting this for a while, but have only now got down to scribing some thoughts on this.
For most of my life and probably most of yours too, we’ve always been told to seek happiness or chase happiness or find your road to happiness. Basically everyone’s like find destination happiness. But you know what I’ve come to discover in the last 33 years? happiness is not a destination.
Happiness is an emotional response to a situation, it is not a permanent state that you can sit in or a destination to be reached. So it begs the question, why do so many of us chase happiness?
There are so many books that preach the philosophy of “this is how to find happiness” but you know what? most of those, if not all are BS.
I have an alternative method (and I’m not saying it’s right) — instead of chasing happiness, I seek meaning. I do this, because I believe it’s a better approach to actually attaining those fleeting moments of happiness we want.
I’m of the opinion that having meaning in life is more important than happiness. Mainly because happiness is an emotional state, one that is fleeting and cannot be sustained. Whereas meaning is something that drives us, gives us a sense of being and will more likely provide the moments of happiness we seek.
More of us want to feel fulfilled, we want to have a purpose you could say and I think this lies in understanding what our reason for being is or our meaning.
This of course, is not an easy thing to just find. In some ways it’s a lifelong pursuit full of trial and error.
I often ask myself why do I rise in the everyday? what gives me meaning? vs what will bring me happiness?
Brownies bring me happiness, but they don’t give me meaning.
I suppose some of this links into a purpose too, but I try to steer clear of that word and stick with meaning, as we can all discover what our own personal meaning is.
Instead of me rambling on in this post, I decided to put all these thoughts into one place and share my personal exploration and research.
I wandered through the world of Japan and discovered the concept of Ikigai, which basically opened my eyes to how I and anyone can find their own meaning.
Remember happiness is an output not a goal.