Happiness seems to be a buzzword recently, and by recently I mean always. What makes a person happy? What is true happiness, as opposed to temporary fun and how does one get from the day-to-day happiness of our lives to something more longstanding and ultimately more fulfilling?
Is this something you think about? I think about it all the time. In fact, you could pretty much make the argument that any bucket list, or Life List in my case, is the ultimate pursuit of happiness. The need to be more, make more, have something better at the end of life.
I think when I take a deep look inside, my pursuit of happiness is all wrapped up in whether or not, when it’s said and done, I’ve done something worthwhile on this earth, if I’ve made any difference to anyone, anywhere.
Do you know what I’m talking about?
A guy named Chris Guillebeau turned this whole idea on its head with his new book, ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’ (follow Chris on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram). We’ve all heard the term: The Pursuit of Happiness, yes? Guillebeau takes a different approach, wondering instead about the happiness in the pursuit. The joy you find in getting from point A to point B in your life goals. It’s a thing I know well. I’m a goal-setting kind of girl, always have been, and often feel semi-deflated when I cross the finish line, so to speak.
A personal example is my quest for fitness. I’m always, in some way or another, pursuing better health, (see #29 on my Life List). The closer I get to 40 the more I realize vanity has less to do with it than actually wanting to feel good so I can do more things that lead to happiness and fulfillment. Seriously. Getting to this point has been a quest in and of itself. I’m constantly working on a healthier lifestyle for my family, from the best fruit veggie smoothie ever to a gluten free dinner recipe and am regularly trying (and often failing) to get back on the caffeine-free wagon. I recently hired a friend of mine who’s an amazing online fitness trainer to get in better shape (in shape, period) so I can enjoy my life more fully. It’s a work-in-progress.
In ‘The Happiness of Pursuit’, Guillebeau talks a lot about “questers”, people like himself who’ve given over their lives to finding a more meaningful life in some way. The book opens with Guillebeau reminiscing about his personal quest to travel to every country in the world. Guillebeau made it to193 countries (WHUT.) and met a whole bunch of people like himself in the process, people looking to accomplish something monumental (a relative term) with their lives.
The premise of the book is cool; what would a quest look like for you? Just breaking up the pattern of your day-to-day routine with a couples salsa dancing class on Thursday nights, (I’m talking about my dear friend Donna who does this very thing with her husband)? A month-long journey across Eastern Europe to visit your spouse’s original homestead and remaining family? That would be me.
Talk to me, what do you think about the idea? Do you think about your approach to happiness often?
// Thank you to Random House for sponsoring this post to keep Petit Elefant running. And thanks to you my lovelies, for understanding the need for sponsored posts. //