Happiness is a Journey, Not a Destination

"Happiness is a journey, not a destination. For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one." said Father Alfred D. Souza, an Australian writer/philosopher.

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we're frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that, we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We'll certainly be happy when they're out of that stage.

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire. The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway.

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way.
So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, ...and remember that time waits for no one.

In essence then, happiness is a state of mind, a perspective on the journey that is life; a joyful expectation of the mysteries we will discover and yes, the obstacles we will overcome, along the road we travel – the road of life.

This of course begs the question, how do we attain this state of mind? How do we find joy in the daily struggle that is living; the struggle to pay the bills, get the kids to school, and make sure that those we love are cared for – including ourselves?

Enjoying the journey that is life begins with clarity of purpose, which means clarity of mind. It also requires an open heart, a loving heart that is grateful and caring. A clear mind and loving heart are the keys to joyful existence, for they allow us to appreciate all that we have, while still anticipating the all good things we may yet achieve.

As we work our way through this series on happiness, we will examine some of the tools available to us that we can use to clear our minds and open our hearts. We will look at ways to keep our minds calm, clear, and spontaneous, as well as keeping ourselves open to new experiences, thoughts, and concepts. We will study gratefulness, and examine why it is so valuable to practice it daily. We will ponder the nature of expectations, of ourselves, of others, and of the world, and discover why they are so crucial to our happiness. We will even take a quick look at the nature of reality, and ask why acceptance is so crucial to the journey that is happiness.

In the end, we will try to create a map that will help us all along the road to happiness that is available to us every day. It should be quite a journey, a trip we can take together.

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