“Happiness is not a station you arrive at but a manner of travelling” — Margaret Leen Runbeck
Most of my life, I pursued happiness as an outcome. I sought it out in the people I surrounded myself with, the job or title I had, the money I made, the trips I took, the car I drove, the goals I set for myself, or in my continued quest for affirmation or approval. When I reached a level of accomplishment relating to these things, I momentarily celebrated the bliss of my arrival only to start over in my perpetual pursuit of happiness.
I was confusing the achievement of an objective or the realization of an outcome with the occurrence of happiness. Achieving a goal or celebrating a significant accomplishment or enjoying a particular acquisition provides a wonderful source of joy or happiness. Because life moves on, so will that moment of happiness.
The arrival of a momentary dose of celebratory happiness is an awesome experience. The exhilaration of that moment creates tremendous energy and can generate tremendous momentum or forward motion. While continuous and perpetual achievement is amazing, it also can be a daunting task. For if one can only find happiness in the accomplishment, life is filled with a series of milestone celebrations and little joy in between.
The journey of life is long. It is not defined in a single moment, but in a series of lessons, experiences, events, and accomplishments. Not all of these events are going to be easy, fun, or celebrated at the time. Yet every day we have the opportunity to enjoy and celebrate who we are, what we are doing, where we are going, who we are touching and how we are loving.
Happiness is finding joy and peace in the world we are living in today and enjoying the journey we are on as we pursue our vision for our life and the celebrated accomplishments along the way. If arrival at a destination is your only source of happiness, you are missing out on numerous opportunities to enjoy, celebrate and relish moments everyday.
Each day, each interaction, and every little accomplishment are part of the journey of life. Be happy in the moment. Be happy with your progress. Find happiness in the journey. When you celebrate the journey, you will appreciate the outcomes of your efforts even more.