What is happiness?
I really think that's something that everyone thinks they already know, am I right?
I mean, what is the initial reaction when you think about what happiness is?
I think, initially, a lot of people think very, very macro about happiness... and that alone keeps us very, very discontent.
When I was young, I thought of happiness as a very macro idea - very large, the ultimate THING in life. I placed way too much importance on that ideal of what it would take to be HAPPY - it almost consumed me, reaching for that brass ring.
I was wrong.
I run into young people every day who have it wrong.
Why are we holding our lives hostage to some mythical ideal of 'happiness'?
Why do we feel frustrated and miserable because we haven't achieved it?
We are looking at it wrong.
Happiness isn't a goal.
A lick and a cuddle from a puppy.
A kiss goodnight from your kid.
The smell of a storm coming.
A really great ice cream sundae.
A day so oppressively hot that when you step outside, the pavement shimmers, and the smell of honeysuckle permeates the air.
The roar of the ocean.
Bare feet on grass.
The sun warming your face.
A cold bottle of water after mowing the grass.
A great song on the car radio, and the wind blowing in your face.
A completed job.
A sincere smile from a stranger.
Just making it before the light turns red.
Slipping into a hot tub when the air turns chilly.
Liking what you see in the mirror, at least some of the time.
Turning to the first page of a new book.
Truly not giving a damn what other people think of you.
The happy bustle in the airport.
Kids running through a sprinkler.
That tingle in your gut when you throw your head back on a swing.
A fire in the fire pit on a fall night.
The smell of lavender.
Cool sheets on a hot night.
It's not a goal. It's a thousand little things that, if you stop to enjoy them, are beautiful on their own. When I say I want my kids to be happy, I mean that I want them to notice life... I want them to appreciate the many, many gifts of happiness in an ordinary day. I don't want them to think as I did... to constantly chase this elusive 'thing', this ideal, that just doesn't exist.
Happiness is everywhere. You don't earn it, you don't achieve it, and you can't anchor it and make it stay forever... catch it in snatches, because that's how it comes.
It's always around.