…And the pursuit of happiness.

This notion of pursuing happiness as an unalienable right (as stated in our Declaration of Independence), alongside life and liberty implies the pursuit of happiness is highly significant in the affairs of men. Worth rebelling for!

Is “happiness” or “the pursuit,” the unalienable right, so vital to human existence that it is mentioned in one of the United States most sacred documents?

In a previous article, we talked briefly about the importance of the journey verses the ends justifying the means. This challenge is the very heart of our topic, the pursuit of happiness. 

 “We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”  Albert Einstein

Many people believe that being happy is a key ingredient of overall well-being. We now have studies that actually indicate the opposite. When we focus on being happy, we are actually less happy – weird right? Yet, Einstein’s comment states enthusiastic pursuit leads to happiness. By implication, if you are passionate about something you would pursue it enthusiastically.  

Recent college graduates – do you remember the keynote speaker mentioning pursuing your passion rather than pursuing “a good paying job?” If not, be assured it is a recurring sentiment at college commencements. What is the real message? Pursuing money may not be as rewarding as pursuing your passion. The question comes back, what if I cannot earn a living doing something I am passionate about? Great question. The answer is, if you can’t make a living doing what you are most passionate about; don’t allow it to be totally removed from your life. We know, through research, that being engaged in something you care about and making some kind of progress in that area leads to a heightened level of satisfaction and fulfillment. This fact highlights the value of having a hobby. 

Personal observations indicate we have traded pursuing a passion for being busy. We seem to be going at breakneck speed, without knowing why. Does being busy make you happy? 

One ThingIn a scene from the 1991 movie City Slickers with Billy Crystal (Mitch) and Jack Palance (Curly), the “one thing” scene brings singular clarity regarding busyness versus having a focus.

Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?

Curly: This.

Mitch: Your finger?

Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean

[squat]. (personal edit)

Mitch: But, what is the “one thing?”

Curly: [smiles] That’s what *you* have to find out.

(View this scene on YouTube)

You will always have more things you “can” do, than things you “should” do.

… And the pursuit of happiness.  Pursuing the one thing you are passionate about – how powerful!

:Terry’s Business Musings