Which Road Leads To Happiness? Feeling your desitination and not your path
Where Does The Road You're on Lead?
Is it really a road at all?
"Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it's too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow." ~ Quoted by Paul H Dunn
Like life, in my humble opinion, the road to happiness is a mysterious path. The road to happiness can be a path filled with intrigue, adventure and sometimes even disappointment, when that disappointment turns out to have been in our best interest. I have often wondered where this road begins and ends; where it leads to and who else gets to travel this road with us? This hub is a compilation of what I have found over the years and though it is just my opinion, I believe much of what I have seen and experienced and read is common to almost all of us at one time or another. Whether or not you agree with me here, I sincerely hope that each moment of your life is so filled with happiness and joy that all you can do is participate in it fully and anticipate the next moment to come with the greatest expectations!
What Would Convince You To Believe It?
"Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response." ~ Mildred Barthel
We can choose to be happy in almost any appropriate situation. Harvard's Professor of Happiness Tal Ben Shahar says I'm not sure it's always healthy to be happy in every one of life's circumstances. Actually I think happiness is derived, in part, by knowing ones self so well that one can observe his/her emotional responses without reacting to them, because it is the action and reaction to the stimulus that determines the outcome and our feelings about it. Guess who gets to decide what situations in life are appropriate or not? That's right, YOU do!
So, happiness does seem to be a choice that comes from experience. Circumstances do not dictate our happiness. Life events do not determine which road we will follow, where that road ends and what we will see as ultimately joyful and happy. If I haven't convinced you of that yet I would direct your attention to the work of Viktor E. Frankl M.D., Ph.D. and the author of "Man's Search For Meaning," The road to happiness then, is determined in large part by want, what we see as valuable and worthy of our energy.
Experience - The Greatest Teacher
"Being happy is something you have to learn. I often surprise myself by saying "Wow, this is it. I guess I'm happy. I got a home I love. A career that I love. I'm even feeling more and more at peace with myself." If there's something else to happiness, let me know. I'm ambitious for that, too." ~ Harrison Ford
Not all of us can be Harrison Fords! On a percentage basis, in fact, very few of us will enjoy the fame, notoriety and success of this iconic actor. But every one of us can say exactly the same thing he says above; that being happy is something I must learn. That is, of course, unless you are already happy and have been since birth, in which case I'm coming over to your house for dinner, because I want a little of that to rub off on me!
It May Not Be a Road - But An Intersection
If what we wanted or desired provided all of our happiness we would simply dream our life into existence. Not a bad idea, come to think of it, and even though there are a number of us who are attempting to see and achieve happiness in this way, our realities often don't align with this method. There are two additional pathways, other than what we want, that lead to the construction of our happiness. They are what we need and what we have.
What we need will always be an element of happiness. If our needs aren't being met and physical or emotional poverty sets in life can be extreme and not in a positive way. We can choose to change the circumstances of that poverty to create the environment in which we can again experience happiness, but as long as we allow that impoverished circumstance to remain with us on the inside it will always remain as a reflection on the outside.
Then there is the pathway of what we have and I'm not speaking of our physical, material possessions here, I'm referring to the intrinsic tools we have been given as humans to determine our past, present and future. It is that something within, incomprehensible to me, yet it exists within all the same. It is that fire that drives us to discover who we are and what we are doing here in this space time continuum. Every human being on the face of the planet with the power of conscious thought, and maybe even some of those who do not yet convey this power, possess the extraordinary potential to create their own happiness.
My choice, my decision in creating this hub was not to explain the "how to's" of happiness, though I'm sure many of you would be interested in some suggestions. Alas, the purpose of this hub is to highlight a philosophical viewpoint about happiness and encourage you to explore its possibilities for yourself. In my view it is a process, a journey down not one road, but many. Most of us know by now it isn't a destination yet many times we think about arriving on the plateau and settling there for a while without ever having to make the trek.
In my travels on some of the roads of life over the last 59 years I have proven to myself that happiness was always the most evident at the crossroads or the intersections where several of those roads met. The happiest of those times were when I understood what I truly needed, knew what I really wanted and recognized that I had every tool necessary to obtain both. Happiness comes as we stand at each intersection of life, where we realize we are moving down a road all the time and the weigh stations at which we often stop for a while are there to help us know and experience the purpose that particular place has in our lives. Happiness lays, for me, at the intersection at which I know what it is I truly need, feeling that what I want already exists and is within my grasp, and the realization that, no matter what transpires, I have all I need to experience and share every facet of it. It is, in this way, not a destination, but many of temporary destinations strung together by a belief that all is good and an incomprehensible spirit providing the fuel for the ride of a lifetime.
Peace be with you always!