Stop Pursuing Happiness

Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose. Helen Keller, author

Why were over forty women willing to tell me their sad tale of mother loss? Their universal response was because they wanted their experience to make a difference to another person. Telling me their story and having it become a part of a book gave their loss meaning—and meaning gives us happiness. 

Happiness can’t be pursued, it’s the side effect of dedication to the pursuit of something meaningful beyond our own gratification. This is why creating something to share—a painting, a garden, a book, an afghan, a festive meal, etc—gives us pleasure. This is why volunteering at the school, hospital, church, etc—gives us pleasure. Stop pursuing happiness and begin to look for the meaning in your life. 

Affirmation: I find happiness in meaningful experiences. 

Coaching question: Where do you find meaning and purpose in your life?