How do you pursue happiness?

Pursuit of Happyness

In the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”, it seems happiness was finally attained at the end when Will Smith got the job and pretty much all his cares and worries for money ended.  I wonder if happiness was actually attained then for the real life Chris Gardner?

This movie made me think, what is happiness?  And can it be pursued really?

Obviously complete happiness cannot be attained without the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing being met and Chris Gadner was clearly pursuing these basic necessities.

My definition of happiness has changed a bit over the years.  I learn’t though that I am happiest around people I love.  I think that is true for most of us.  The only thing that may have changed due to life circumstances, is who I love.   I was not always aware that this was my definition of happiness and so I spent years pursuing what I thought would have helped me attain it.   After having my children and went back to work I soon realized that happiness  was with my children, my family and friends.

When I look at my four children I see that the definition of happiness varies for each of them.  One seems to be happy just knowing he’s safe, his needs are met and he has the tools and resources needed to succeed in life.  Two of them are happiest when entertained and engaged by their family, just that their definition of entertainment differs, for one it could just be simply throwing a ball together while for the other it’s a lot more extravagant, like travelling.  The last child  is happiest around those he loves and in the comforts of home.

Mr. Gardner could have tried to fill his basic needs by taking on any job.  He could have chosen to give up on the internship and did whatever he could to provide for his son’s and his immediate need for food and shelter.  Was his driving force then their needs, or was it his passion for his job as stock broker and his desire to succeed?  Was his happiness attained that day when he finally got the job?  Or was some form of happiness achieved everyday as he continued to work at the thing he loved to do?

Once I realized that I was happiest with my family it slowly changed how I pursued happiness.  The goal of work is not to attain happiness by accumulating money but rather my pursuit is to find ways to spend time with those I love.

Regardless, each day we can choose to find some level of happiness in whatever situation we find ourselves in.

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