Happiness is such a simple word.  One of the first words we learn the meaning of as children. Well a very watered down, simple meaning. If we want ice cream and we get ice cream, we’re happy. If we don’t get ice cream when we want it we’re not happy.  

As we get older we learn how truly complicated this word is. It’s that thing everyone is searching for and just when they think they’ve found it, they’re unhappy again.  The more we go through life experiences, the more we feel that happiness is unattainable because we constantly want more.

Our happiness journey is continuous and constantly evolving. When I was younger it was about getting that toy that I really wanted.  When I became a pre-teen my idea of happiness was being an adult because then I wouldn’t have to do the things my parents would make me do, like chores or homework (boy was I wrong).  As a teenager, the idea of happiness was complete emancipation from my parents ( they were amazing parents by the way, I just didn’t like being told what I could and could not do).  I wanted to live on my own, party all night without a curfew.  That felt like true happiness to me.

As a young adult, the idea of happiness evolved into the thought that I needed to be successful. Every time I thought of success I would think about money.  There’s no way I won’t be happy being a millionaire right?  But I worked a series of jobs; some that payed well and some that didn’t and I realized that in some of those well paying jobs I was still miserable.  I hated what I was doing and the compensation was not making things better.  After a lot of soul searching, I came to the realization that the reason I was so unhappy is because I was lacking purpose.  I was doing my job like a robot, doing what was expected of me or above and beyond to prove that I should have that promotion and raise but what did it really all mean?  Great so now instead of being the assistant manager, I am now a manager of shit I am ultimately not happy doing.

I want to do things that mean something to me.  When I have had a stressful, exhausting day, what’s going to make me want to do this again the next day is that feeling of fulfillment.  Of course a check is motivation because it keeps a roof over my head.  It helps me have my needs and wants and allows me to have more freedom to experience the things I would like to experience.  But money comes and goes and fulfillment is long-term.  What’s going to keep me going on those days that I want to give up, is passion and purpose.  

As humans we are always searching for things that will make us feel good.  We don’t want to have stress, we don’t want to feel sad, we don’t want to worry.  However these things will never go away permanently (unless of course you’re dead). Joy is also not a permanent state.  It’s a series of snapshots of your life, moments in time that don’t last forever but you can always look back at those snapshots and they will always make you feel good.  I have stopped searching for constant joy in order to feel Happy.  Joy like sadness will come and go.  Happiness to me is realizing my purpose and working towards my goals with this purpose in mind.  I have realized that what truly motivates me is making a positive impact on the world and helping others.  The feeling that I get when I can do something for someone that they can’t necessarily do for themselves is incomparable.  Whether it’s doing small things for friends and family or creating a business that will be beneficial to others, my goal is to continue doing things in my life with this purpose and to continue collecting those snapshots that will ultimately bring me the most joy.