Do you ever feel as though you’ve missed the proverbial boat when it comes to this thing called happiness?
Meaning: Do you feel as though you’re a failure at being happy? That you can’t sustain that hippity-hoppity happy feeling 24/7? That maybe this whole happiness thing is really a sham?
I’ve been seeing lots of clients lately and this is a subterranean theme. What’s standing in my way? Why can’t I be happier? What’s the problem with me? And moreover, what’s the problem with everyone else who’s making my life – well – unhappy.
Happiness is defined as “the quality or state of being happy.” Actually, in my hard copy Dictionary, the word “happiness” is given little face-time. (yes, I said hard copy – I do still have a real dictionary in my office – busted!) “Happy” is defined as “1. favored by luck or circumstance; 2. Having, showing, or causing a feeling of great pleasure, contentment, joy, etc.;” – and I love this one: “4. Intoxicated, or irresponsibly quick to act, as if intoxicated.”
No wonder “happiness” feels fleeting.
By its very definition, happiness is defined as a state of being for the lucky and comes and goes like shots of Tequila on Cinco de Mayo.
The more I work with Numerology, the more I feel that happiness is great and yet it’s something that we blip in and out of in waves or in intervals. And to think that we can “just be happy” is a fatalistic request of ourselves – and of others.
Why not try this instead?
Replace “I just want to be happy” with “I just want to be purposeful.”
That fabulous red Webster’s New World Dictionary of mine says that “purposeful” is defined as: “1. Resolutely aiming at a specific goal; 2. Directed toward a specific end; not meaningless.”
When you’re feeling “on purpose,” I daresay Mr. Webster would help you along and say that you’re not here accidentally – that you’re here intentionally and by design.
Do you crave an ongoing and consistent feeling of purpose in your life? The absolute knowledge that you carry with you an individual, unique, you-and-only-you specific talent or skill or gift that you’re placed on this earth to act upon and accomplish?
Ultimately, grasping what your individual sense of purpose might be is what drives people to seek answers, expansion, and personal growth in their lives. And that purpose usually isn’t just one thing – it can be a pyramid of things achieved at different times in your life.
So what do you think? Isn’t the Pursuit of Purposefulness more engaging that the Pursuit of Happiness? Because when you feel your life has purpose and meaning, you can feel a sense of gratification and satisfaction that outlasts any momentary burst of happiness, hand-down.
I find that when people feel a consistent feeling of purpose, happiness is a natural byproduct.
Yet being happy is not the endgame.
When you feel purposeful, it’s massively easier to feel other emotions, learn from them, and let them wash over you like a cleansing shower. When you’re pushing to feel happy all the time, those other pesky “negative” emotions become piranhas that eat away your happiness and then – yep – you’re left empty handed in the happiness department.
Yet when you feel on purpose, you can feel grief, anger, frustration, sadness, and all those other “negative” emotions and yet if you’re in alignment with your purpose, you feel those emotions and escort them through the entrance and out the exit door with much greater ease and grace than if you were resisting and denying their very being.
I’ve seen people experience the greatest grief in the world and yet when they feel that its serving their higher purpose, there’s a core sense of meaning that comes from the experience and when that meaning can be extracted sooner rather than later – which usually comes from having a handle around your own sense of purpose in the world – the experience can be added to the “done” list and you can move forward with resolve, gusto, and wisdom.
And what feels happier than that?
Not that explosive, elusive, “intoxication” of happiness. Rather, than deep sense of gratification and happiness that comes with knowing you’re on track, on target – yes, on purpose.
It’s impossible to go through life miserable, pissed, and grumbling when you’re connected with your higher purpose. It’s just not possible. You can go through ups and downs, yet when you feel that sense of connected purpose, you just can’t help but shift your focus on how all the hard stuff is teaching you how to get there. Not only is all the hard stuff helping you understand and act upon your purpose, the hard stuff is actually the point. It’s what it’s all about!
There’s no question that intimately connecting with your purpose can sustain you through difficult times, provide deeper meaning to events and experiences, and empower you as you jump through flaming loops you never thought you’d live through.
I’ve said this many times: “I just want my kids to be happy.” I’m reevaluating that statement and switching it to: “I just want my kids to feel purposeful.” Can you imagine if all of our children – if all of us – felt a deep sense of purpose in our lives? So rather than striving for happiness, strive to uncover and reveal your own singular, unique, amazing purpose in your world.
I guarantee you’re here by design.