Posted tagged ‘happiness’

It’s All In The ‘-ing’

December 19, 2009

True happiness is not made in getting something. True happiness is becoming something. This can be done by being committed to lofty goals. We cannot become something without commitment.

~ Marvin J. Ashton

This quote can seem initially to be at odds with my new-found perspective of living in the now, embracing the present moment.  I have ostensibly renounced that sense of always ‘striving’ for something, of thinking that your happiness lies at some point in the future, and yet I find myself drawn to this quote about commitment to lofty goals.

However, on closer reading of it, I discover that it is in fact entirely compatible with the concept of living meaningfully in the present moment.  The key is in the use of the present continuous tense – the ‘ing’.

This quote points out that happiness lies in the becoming, in the being committed.  It doesn’t say you will be happy once you have become something, or once you have achieved your goals.  It says that your happiness lies in the very process of the becoming and in the committment inherent in the process of achieving.

Happiness does not lie at some point in the future when you have become or done.  Happiness lies right now, in believing in something enough to engage in the process of becoming and doing.  True happiness is more about satisfaction than having arrived at any point – and there is nothing more satisfying than being committed to something worthy and being in the process of contributing to it.

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Happiness Is A By-Product

June 8, 2009

Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.

~ Robertson Davies

Temptation and Satisfaction

October 30, 2008

There is not any memory with less satisfaction than the memory of some temptation we resisted.
~ James Branch Cabell

Temptation is not the devil trying to draw you into sin.  Temptation is your soul calling to you.  The feeling that we should resist temptation is something built into us by society and our environment – it is not a fundamental truth. 

We resist temptation purely for fear of what others will think of us if we ‘give in’.  Of what it will ‘say’ about us – that we are weak, lacking in willpower, sinful.

We are only tempted by things that appeal to us – otherwise it would not be tempting.  How about considering the possibility that things appeal to you for a reason?  That maybe no one is judging you but yourself?  That maybe good and bad is what you say it is?

I choose to honour my cravings, my urges, my gentle nudges from within.  I have learned that if something makes me feel guilty, it is probably the right thing for me to do.  Guilt (in this sense) is a sign that there is something I really want to do but my perception of outside expectations is making me feel judged for the urge.

Ignore the judging.  Take heed of the wanting. 

Have a big piece of chocolate cake, and then run away and join the circus.  No one else will care.  You will not dying wondering.  There is great happiness in that.  Maybe the only happiness we can really have.  The knowledge that we gave it a go, tried it out, had the experience.

What else is it all for but the experience?

Let go of resistance.  Follow temptation.  Look back on your life satisfied.