Some of us have wild dreams we'll never let go. We hope this stamina and this resilience will lead to the fruition of those goals. We ignore criticism & doubt. We feel lost without the pursuit of such happiness.
However, if you're like most of us, there's this achievement we haven't quite snatched. Until we do, everything around us is grey-scaled --you know, between black & white, which aren't even colors.
And if you're also like us, perhaps you believe you defined the phrase "been in a funk." We might also believe ourselves to be the very ones who started labeling almost everything else "menial." But after a transition from dread to research, I believe there are few things I have learned about the pursuit of happiness.
On Being Happy.
We all want to be happy, right? Well, according to this study, this study, and this article, the very pursuit of happiness can lead to a real case of depression (at the very least). For me personally, coming across some of these concepts was one of the greatest things in my life as of late. Quite frankly, I've been in a funk, which has been detrimental to just about everything. After awhile, I started piecing the puzzle together, did a little research, and detailed a couple ways to keep smilin'.
If you're like me, or still reading at this point, maybe there's been a goal in your life, that, until met or exceeded, makes every other aspect in life grey, vanilla, generic. Paradoxical is this little dream, because until you meet it you won't be happy, and after all, the point of the accomplishment is to be happy.
In the writing world, this means being miserable for years and years and years. I imagine it translates well to other endeavors in life no matter how large or small. Also if you're anything like me, you don't want that feeling--the sensation of being unaccomplished--to shadow every day of your life until it's met.
That's a lot of years spent unhappy.
Instead do the utilitarian thing: Find happiness where ever you go and spread it onto others. If you compare every moment to your goal in life, it's all going to fall flat. You'll be miserable. There's two things to discover here:
A. You need to find other sources--almost any other source--for happiness. Be glad your dog was there when you woke up. Discover how well rum mixes with 7-UP (if you're legal). There's something else--even something small--you know always will bring up your mood. Capitalize on it.
B. Feel OK with not being happy. We all know being happy is preferred for life (maybe turn it down a notch for the writer types), but other emotions are equally valid. Also, in-between states should sometimes be enjoyed rather than threatened by superfluous happiness. If you can accept the things that aren't bringing you joy and allow yourself to explore the opportunities there within, you might find you're happier overall. This means a better performing and often times healthier you.
The Thing to Avoid.
While I believe there's a lot of great advice behind the studies, I still find one situation could occur that I wouldn't be able to stomach.
It's important to not only strive for happiness, but also to never forget about the happiness that could harvested from right where you stand. It's also important that you might not feel particularly cheery every day.
A wall I faced when I started out as a writer was the need to have a crummy day in order to write some good stuff. Stuff worth reading. However, happy or sad, it didn't really matter. It was all about simply making more time to write.
Another wall in my way was the satisfaction writing brought me; it couldn't be replicated by any other means. It was its own sort of happiness that I wished to procure and grip tight with my greedy little hands. However, it's important to take time away from writing on occasion to experience life to its fullest.
Lastly, I remembered to always pursue my dreams. I'm doing it now as you read this entry. See, sometimes people accept a lack of joy in their lives a little too often. Honestly, my life might run a bit smoother if I just ditched the whole artsy thing.
But I don't & won't. So while you're out there finding ways to remain healthy both in mind and body, I don't think you should ever let your ambitions fall out of sight. That's the thing to avoid. Some days you merely need to slide it side to the side.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.