The Kenyan Nomad

The Kenyan Nomad

Friday, August 22, 2014

Chasing Happiness

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely guilty of assuming that happiness depends on change. These changes can be big or small, but a lot of the time, I look for happiness in future situations, instead of realising that happiness should not be conditional upon what can or will or should happen; rather, we should learn to find happiness in what actually IS.

I know for a fact that there are many other people who think this way. There is a wide array of literature instructing us on how to better our lives so that we can 'be happy'. Maybe the focus of such writing should change slightly, and be able to instruct us to build up on the happiness that we already feel, and do not give enough importance to. I know that in the past, I've thought that I'd be happy if I got a certain grade on an exam, or travelled to a certain place, or did a certain thing, or interacted with a certain group of people. Sure, those acts would have made me happy. But what I failed to recognise at the time is that by living in and worrying about the future so much, I was passing up so many opportunities that life gave me to be happy right where I was. Of course, I did try, as much as so many others do, to be 'mindful and aware', to 'live in the moment', to try and realise that 'the present is a gift'. Yet, I don't think I fully realised just how fulfilling it can be to actually be happy in the moment until very recently.

I'm definitely not saying that we shouldn't plan ahead, or dream about the future (read my previous post about the same I think it's definitely vital to give importance to the future, to plan and to improve so that our lives don't become stagnant, but I think we need to be able to do this while simultaneously appreciating the present that we are in. Personally, I've spent a large amount of the previous months worrying about my future; where am I going to be, what am I going to be doing, blah blah blah. Finally, I had a realisation sometime within the past week or so that made me want to kick myself. It didn't matter where I was going to be, not really. Nor did it matter what I was going to be doing. Because I've had moments of uncertainty in the past, but no matter where I ended up, I was able to be happy, to make the best of my circumstances. 

AHA! There. That was it. I really couldn't believe that it could be so simple; just being able to trust that we will be able to make the best of our futures really puts things in perspective and helps us be happy here and now. Of course, I still wonder what life is going to throw my way... who doesn't? But now I'm confident that no matter what it is, I'll tackle it as it comes. And I can also take time to enjoy my life right where I am (whether that involves jamming out in a car to 'Eye of the Tiger' on a backroad in the middle of nowhere or just enjoying the company of those around me).

We all have it within us to be able to inspire ourselves; we just need to be able to look at our situations with a little more perspective, and we'll realise that the happiness we think has been eluding us so long has been right here with us all along. 

Have a happy Friday, won't you! 

1 comment:

Isabel Bent said...

Really a wonderful blog! I like it very much and the information about chasing happiness is good.
Good work.

chasing happiness

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