What is Happiness?

“HAPPINESS is not defined as pleasure.

PLEASURE is so quick, so short and then it’s over.

HAPPINESS is the JOY you feel while moving toward your potential.

JOY is something you can experience even in the absence of pleasure.

People are afraid of happiness because they think it will stagnate —

that if I’m happy now, I won’t keep fighting hard.

If I’m happy now, I won’t push as hard to make a better world.

This is what pleasure does.

JOY is the exact opposite…

JOY makes us want to invest more deeply.”

—Shawn Achor

(Check out his TED Talk and Podcast episode on Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations)

There are SO MANY activities that I engage in DAILY that do not induce feelings of momentary pleasure but that fill my life with incredible joy.  

One of the strongest examples of this in my life is my commitment to fitness.  I LOVE training. It brings me immense joy. But in the midst of a really tough workout, PLEASURE is not an adequate description of the state I’m in.

Too often in my life, I’ve equated happiness to my level of success.

I’ve found when my focus is set rigidly on the end goal rather than on the immediate process, the gradual progress and the day to day reward of consistent dedication, I lose sight of the purpose behind my actions.

If I draw my attention back to the present I can clearly acknowledge my “why”, give my endeavors my best effort and find joy in the journey.

This mental/emotional approach pertains to far more than just workouts.  This goes for motherhood, my work as a nurse, nourishing and sustaining my family, fueling my creativity as a writer, and supporting the ever important relationships in my life.  

Mindful redirection requires self awareness and recognition that happiness is not a result of the external circumstances that surround my existence but rather, it resides in simple moments that reflect the significance of my life.

This takes practice, thought, and the willingness to, when necessary, abstain from momentary pleasure in pursuit of the real deal happiness that is substantially more satisfying.♥️

 

xo,

 

Jen


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