“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” – William Butler Yeats
Perhaps I feel good today and hope to keep that feeling for a while. That would be desireable, however, the truth is that all things change–days change, situations change, people change, moods change. Life can get really frustrating when I try to keep things the same. Much of what made me happy several years ago no longer does–and chances are, the things that will bring me happiness tomorrow, are not the same things that made me happy today.
I used to love watching cartoons like Scooby Doo, but they are not nearly as enjoyable as they used to be. I used to love orange and grape juice, but they sometimes cause ulcers for me, and now I prefer a nice cup of milk. There was a day long ago when playing football was one of my favorite things to do. I have not played in years now, and to be honest, I really do not miss it much… I have moved on to playing other sports like golf and tennis.
I have grown and I have changed. My tastes are different, as are my desires. My happiness now is dependent on what I give to the world, not what I take from it–I am most happy when I see other people feeling happy, not when I buy things or receive gifts or even accomplish a difficult task. The accomplishments are fine, for I love taking on challenges and rising to the occasion, but that still does not compare to the feeling I get when I see someone else happy, especially when I had something to do with them being happy. Perhaps it was something I said or did, something very slight and seemingly unimportant, but it sure did something for someone else.
So many people get frustrated in life trying to hold on to happiness, trying to keep doing the same things that brought them happiness in the past. But the past is gone, and today is here. We are older, wiser, and more capable of learning from the present moment and growing, so why not take the opportunity today?
Take some time to find what makes you happy from time to time.
Questions to consider:
What makes you happy now?
What used to make you happy, but no longer does?
What used to make you happy, but cannot be recaptured because it is from a different time and place, when you were a different person?
For further thought:
“They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” – Confucius