I have to be honest. I want to find my own little slice of heaven right here on earth where I can enjoy my existence and feel happy more often than not. I realize there will be situations that occur that will make me sad; I know about deep personal loss, and I suspect that I will encounter more of those difficult days…as this is the price we pay for our humanity.
Where I’m pointing this conversation though is toward a simple truth: if unhappiness is a feeling born of circumstances then so too is happiness. This leads me to the conclusion that given extenuating circumstances, I can put myself in situations that I enjoy more often than those that I don’t and this implies I will be happy more often than not.
I have a measure of control over my own state of happiness! Woo Hoo! Isn’t this great news? Let the merry making begin! But hold your horses…wait just a minute…now what? How does one go about finding all those shiny, sparkly moments of deep (and dare I say lasting) satisfaction? Because what I notice is that sometimes what makes me happy is a good book and another time it is hanging out with a rowdy group of friends. I like what Robert Louise Stevenson says, "There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy."
Of course if it involves duty…I mean really taking responsibility and being mired in the struggle, count me in! What am I remembering from that poem, Bluebird of Happiness, "it lies beyond the river of my tears. I enjoy nothing more than hard work and the journey of self-discovery. The harder and more complex it is, the better I like it. But does the pursuit of happiness have to be so hard?
I am not attempting to poke fun at Mr. Robert Louis Stevenson, I quite agree with his quote. I am poking fun at myself, because I do have a tendency to make things harder than they need to be. And my search for happiness is no exception to the rule. In the past I spent too much time trying to figure out what makes me happy, and what I am noticing is that I simply have to decide to be happy. It isn’t a puzzle to be solved, but rather a decision to be made about the way I want to live life.
This is such an appropriate conversation to be having now, as we work on resolutions, goals, and objectives for 2012. Surely the things I am preparing to focus on with all my might are what I desire most…the things that will make me happy. Beyond the mountains of my youth, in the ocean of my dreams...where bluebirds fly.
Bluebird of Happiness by George Carroll
And in the valley beneath the mountains of my youth, lies the river of my tears. As it wends its way to the ocean of my dreams, so long ago they have gone. And yet, if I were but to think anew, would these dreams evaporate in my mind and become the morning dew upon a supple rose whose beauty is enhanced with these glistening drops, as the sun of life peeks o'er the mountains when youth was full. Then I must not supply this endless fountain that creates the river of my tears but look beyond those mountains where the bluebird of happiness flies."
If you like this blog, I think you will like my book The Cycle of Transformation. Available now! And if it's past time to discover what will make you happy in your work and life, give me a call, at 303-238-9733.
Deb Siverson is a seasoned executive coach, certified as a PCC through the International Coach Federation. If you want to schedule time to discuss how you or your organization can increase engagement by having a different conversation at work, contact us now.