Why Chasing Happiness Is Not The Way To Attain Your Happiest Life

by Alyssa Ho

Many of us find ourselves in the pursuit of happiness along our life journeys. The idea itself is somewhat promising, as it fills you with this sense of hope that around the corner, something wonderful awaits. But realistically, this is nothing more than false hope.

With happiness, as with anything else in life, the more you chase something, the further away from you it will travel.

To constantly seek out happiness and to endlessly believe that it is a state into which you will enter and never leave will only leave you feeling saddened and disappointed if it never comes around.

I do not mean to say that nothing wonderful awaits you because there sure are wonderful things out there for everyone to experience. You are the master of your own destiny, so whatever you wish lies within your hands to sculpt into a reality.

You shouldn't deliberately seek out happiness, put everything else on hold and then proceed to start truly living only once you've entered into your perceived state of bliss. You will come to learn that happiness is something that comes and goes.

Many of us have an expectation that every single moment of our lives must bring us happiness. This is simply unrealistic.

Happiness is not an end point to which you’re destined or will potentially reach. It's a fleeting moment in life, just as is anything else.

It's precious because it brings you moments of euphoria, unforgettable memories, an appreciation for life and a wonderment of just how lovely your life is at a given moment in time.

Happiness leads you to look forward to tomorrow.

Happiness will weave itself in and out of your life. Embrace that we need moments to not go as planned and to bring us something we didn't want or expect, onto the path of struggling and sorrow, to our weakest, most vulnerable points of existence.

These moments we wish we did not have to encounter truly test us so that we can become, as cliché as is sounds, wiser and stronger.

Without things going wrong once in a while, we'd never come to appreciate things when they do fall into place or bring us what we crave so much: happiness. It’s true that both the good and bad times don't last forever.

This is life. It almost never brings us exactly what we desire, but we must appreciate what we have and consciously work toward what we want.

The beauty I've gleaned from knowing that happiness is sparsely present in my life is in the moments of pure sadness when I momentarily fall into an abyss of self-hate and pity. In these moments, I remember that I need to fight.

I need to become the person I want to be to have the life I want to have. I work toward tomorrow. I work toward my future. I work toward being a better me.

Don't let unhappiness in life, or the seemingly distant happiness you desire, stop you from living. It's all a matter of bringing yourself to understand that happiness is something that we endlessly put on a pedestal.

It's about this idealized concept of where we want to be in life. The more we wish for it, however, and the more we grow disappointed when it doesn't stay forever, the further away it seems.

Just live and appreciate the good moments as much as the bad. If you reach a state of happiness, embrace it and live in the moment. If you reach a state that fails to bring you happiness, appreciate it for what it’s worth and realize that perhaps you must change something.

I used to tell myself that I'm on the "pursuit of happiness," but I've since let go of that concept, for I don't believe that our lives should be centered on the goal of finding, chasing or even becoming obsessed with the idea of happiness. You are responsible for your happiness, not the rest of the world.

Sometimes, the universe doesn't hear you call and work in your favor, but that's life. You'll be where you want to be, whom you want to be and will live the life you want if you're willing to overcome the inevitable life struggles on the path to getting there.

If you find happiness along the way, I'm more than happy for you. Always know that there's more to life than an idea and state of happiness.

Don't forget about learning from life experiences, self-discovery, appreciating the small things in our lives, living in the moment, taking risks, trying something different, ticking something off of the bucket list, doing something you've always said you would or wanted to, meeting new people, traveling, discovering new things and places... the list is, indeed, endless.

Let go of the notion that happiness is everything and without it, life is seemingly invaluable or not worthwhile. Remove happiness as an idealized final destination you must reach in life and simply live.

Photo Credit: Getty Images