Be Present: Why Chasing Happiness Will Never Make You Happy

We’ve all found ourselves trapped in some sort of rut that makes us question our happiness. It’s common when you’re all of a sudden wondering whether you’re content with how things are working out in your life.

Are you satisfied with your job? Did you travel enough? Should you buy a puppy?

With all these thoughts fluttering around your head, you may wonder whether it may be time to do some soul searching and travel more or consider working in a new field.

All these thoughts and questions are in pursuit of your own personal happiness, which can often be viewed as a journey. In order to find happiness, a person must achieve, find or obtain x, y and z.

The idea that happiness is best achieved through a sort of hunt or search is something that can result in quite the opposite effect.

When something, say an object or a goal or a place, is put on a pedestal, a person begins to see it as the ultimate solution to his or her happiness.

If I get this promotion, I’ll be happy. If I travel to Thailand, I’ll be happy. If I lose 15 lbs or win over my dream girl, I’ll finally be happy.

That mindset is the one thing that can ruin the entire journey. Upon achieving all these wonderful things, your mind is conditioned to search for the next best thing that’ll bring you even more happiness afterward.

Once you get that promotion, you'll want to try to become VP. Once Thailand is conquered you’ll move on to the next country.

This thought process is indeed motivating, but can become consuming. Once you put value on a thing and make it the end goal, you’ll be hungry for more and will move on to the next best thing.

You'll end up not enjoying the process until you finally obtain your objectives.

Happiness should focus on the journey in pursuit of these wonderful things. Getting a promotion is a great achievement to strive for, but it’s important to keep focusing on the present as well. You should enjoy the work you do, and should also push yourself to do better.

As cliché as “enjoy the moment” sounds, it’s something that many people lose sight of when trying to find fulfillment.

Putting so much stress on the end goal makes people lose sight of their journeys, which can be pretty awesome, too.

In terms of exercising, you can seriously overwork your muscles and make yourself miserable with intense workout regimens by trying to shed the couple extra pounds you desired to lose.

Praying for Friday to come is a classic case of losing sight of what’s really important. Granted, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are much more fun than weekdays, and it’s understandable to want a break from work or school, but by narrowing your vision to Friday, the weekdays become a hazy mess.

Monday blends into Tuesday, Wednesday becomes irrelevant and Thursday only signifies that Friday is around the corner.

Instead of trudging through the weekdays, you can make them just as rewarding as the weekends. Take the weekend off that pedestal, make everything an even playing field and just slow down.

Enjoy your time; relax and give yourself peace of mind throughout the week.

Treat your days as if they were long distance runs. Slowly jog through your week instead of sprinting to Friday. If you sprint to Friday, you’ll just end up out of breath and unhappy with your run.

Shoot for that promotion and travel to wherever you want to go. Aspire to do great things, but don’t let the pursuit blind you from what’s happening right here and right now, which is just as amazing.