Distractions abound. They prevent us from getting to clarity. Many are there to entertain and take our minds off our worries and the realities of everyday life. In this regard, a certain amount of these distractions serve us well. Unfortunately, when distractions become our way of life, the way of our life is passing us by.
How many times have you said, "I just want to be happy"? Perhaps you've said it about your children, too. To be happy is certainly a worthy emotional state.
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Dare I ask, however, is happiness the true gold standard for the ideal emotional state? Can we always be happy? Are we entitled to happiness?
Yes, I believe in the book title from the Minirth Meier New Life Clinic, Happiness is a Choice. I'm happy to be happy!
Perhaps my age is showing with my questions (and answer). Hopefully, I'm not a cynic, but a keen observer of the human condition. The "pursuit of happiness" as we understand and apply it in the 21st Century may actually not be in our long-term best interest. Too often the pursuit of happiness is the unhealthy avoidance of reality. Denial and distraction are a dangerous one-two combination that take us down an unhealthy path of avoidance.
Happiness, for all its good as it is in use today, is a fleeting, temporary, or surface emotion. Happiness is circumstantial and has the effect of drug tolerance. What it takes to makes us happy tends to get ramped up over time. We need more and bigger to satisfy our happiness quotient.
The more enduring emotions are love, joy, and peace because they are attitudinal, not circumstantial. The matter becomes, not what can I do to be happy but can I be at peace regardless of my circumstances. Viktor Frankl in his book Man's Search For Meaning profoundly observed that those who survived in Nazi prison camps had a compelling reason and will to live. In essence, they made peace with their circumstances and captors. They lived until another day.
To pursue your purpose (instead of happiness) opens the back door to the prosperous life of being at peace. Are you paying too high of a price avoiding being yourself (on-purpose) while distracted in pursuit of fleeting happiness?
What say you?