Is the Pursuit of Happiness easier than finding out what makes you happy? How many of us really know what makes us happy? Read this T.I.M Exclusive as B.P weighs in.
Iĺll let you in on a little secret, whenever I feel down I pop in The Pursuit of Happiness disc into my DVD player and let it sink in. The emotionally charged bathroom scene with Will Smith shedding tears because of the condition he finds himself in, is intense enough to make Robert DeNiro break down like an Olympic medalist.
The movie (based on a true story) is without a doubt thrilling and emotionally captivating. There are many themes one could extract from it, but I thought Iĺd focus on the most important one ľ happiness.
Now before you roll your eyes and hit the Ĺbackĺ button on your browser, hear me out. I, just like you, am tired of hearing those motivationally charged ôhappy peopleö (as I like to call them) yapp about doing things that make you happy. First, I donĺt know if you are like me, but I donĺt entirely know what Ĺmakes me happy.ĺ What made me satisfied a year ago, now annoys me like me traffic on the Don Valley Parkway. Therefore happiness must be some sort of fixed ideal with a changing face.
Needless to say, not only do I not know what makes me happy, but doing what makes me, quote unquote happy is unrealistic. I would like to sit at home and write for Toronto Is Mine day in and night out, but who will provide the money to pay for the electricity that makes my Toshiba run? Who would pay for the clothes that I wear, or for the food I gulp down in between heavily induced T.I.M reading sessions? So with those two stipulations out in the open – how do I go about pursuing happiness in my personal life, and in my professional life?
I sat back and thought long and hard about happiness and how to go about acquiring it. In my personal life, I wasnĺt satisfied with my self-image so I went to the gym and shed some weight. Feeling happier and healthier, I took up reading and traveling. Such hobbies put my mind at ease and satisfied my personal life tremendously. My professional life on the other hand, had and has been a bumpy road, reminiscent of two lane highways running through my country of birth. I started working at the age of 14 and worked my way through various jobs. On the day of my 19th birthday, I was stepping out the door only to have my supervisor stop me. ĹLook, youĺre a great worker, but weĺre on a tight budget and we canĺt have you come back tomorrowĺ were the words he uttered. I looked at him, paused, shook his hand thanking him (Iĺm not sure what for) and left. Little had I known that my pursuit of happiness ů had begun.
It was at that exact time and place that I had realized that I could never work for somebody else. I could never work for someone who would dangle my professional life over my head and have the power to sacrifice me like a pawn in a chess game. I was smarter than that, more able than that, and definitely more ambitious than that. A dose of reality had hit me smack in the face, and I will never forget the revelation that had paralyzed me – FINDING what makes you happy is harder than pursuing it.
I thought to myself and mummered under my breath . . .
Golden Rule Number One – Finding what makes you happy, is harder than pursuing it.
Finding what makes you happy is a journey with a countless amount of twists and turns. As previously stated, what makes you happy today could make you miserable tomorrow. But that in itself is a journey, since true happiness lasts and is felt by the heart. Not by the mind, but by the heart. Ask yourself this, what kind of job (or career path) would get you out of bed eager to work? For me it was entrepreneurship, or the pursuit of being my own boss. I can talk about it for days on end, and get as much as three hours of sleep, but be out there putting in work at six in the morning. Understand that just because you have a nine to five right now, you canĺt pick up a Ĺside hustleĺ and do what makes you happy when you come home. Do your nine to five duties, and come home and build on your happiness. Each and every day is a step towards it – block by block, piece by piece, and dollar by dollar. It doesn’t have to happen over night.
Golden Rule Number Two – Donĺt rush it.
Just because you canĺt find what makes you happy now, doesnĺt mean it wonĺt come to you. Great musicians donĺt write songs until they are inspired to, and you should apply that advice to your professional life. Read, travel, experience life, and ideas are bound to blossom out of the garden growing within you. If you are stuck inside the belly of the beast, robotically going through your nine to five, coming home and passing out infront of the couch; how do you expect to find what makes you happy, if you didn’t experience anything?
In the end, happiness is more than a marketing trend used by happy go lucky folk looking to cash in through optimism. The world is gloomy, the world is shady, the world is happy, the world is real. Find what makes you happy and the pursuit will be nothing more than enjoyable ride in a convertible on a sunny day. I still haven’t achieved full happiness, but I now understand what makes me happy. All that’s left is the convertible and the ride . . .
Written By: B.P
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