April 24, 2011

True Happiness

“True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.” ~ Seneca

Easter weekend has always seemed to be one of those festive weekends where we celebrate a new beginning.  Usually it is the official recognition of spring, the end of the lent, and the celebration of life.  As I was reading a variety of quotes on fresh starts and new beginnings, I stumbled on this particularly interesting quote.  As we continue our quest for continuous improvement, perpetual movement towards our goals, and an obsession with what’s next, it is very important to make time for the present.

When I was on the verge of finishing 100 Pedals, there was a lot of conversation around, what I am going to do next.  I wrote in several earlier posts about the struggle I was having with enjoying a sufficient celebration while making certain that I didn’t lose any of the excitement and emerging that the 100 Pedals journey had created.  Being satisfied, enjoying your accomplishments, finding joy in the present is not necessarily a bad thing.  If you never make time to be happy – how will you know what being happy looks like?

Happiness is a state of mind.  You can choose to be happy or you choose to be unhappy.  Happiness is defined by you.  Things don’t make you happy.  More toys, stuff, or trips don’t define happiness.  Happiness is what you make it to be and is defined by you at the time you define it.  If you are continually looking forward to something else in order to feel happy, you cannot be happy.  True happiness is celebrating in the present who you are, what you are and, what you have accomplished, to date.  It is not the next big thing; it is the current state of things.  Find something to be happy about.  It is a choice.

Growing up I was exposed to a mindset that treated everything in the present as not good enough.  There had to be the next thing—a new car, a new toy, a new outfit, a new job, a promotion.  All these things became responsible as a source for happiness because people could not find happiness within themselves.  Your life is, quite simply, what you make it.  Making for quiet time alone, recognizing and celebrating one’s success, finishing a book, engaging a friend – are all examples of moments in time where one can find happiness in the present.

Our quest is not the sole source for happiness.  It is in the journey, the present moments in time where we realize that we doing really cool things and feeling our positive energy, is where we discover and understand true happiness.  Happiness is not in the future, it is all around you and it is in you.  Discover and enjoy it today!

About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.