Michele Moore of The Happiness Habit is an interesting blogger. What do I mean by “interesting”?
In modern times, this overused and trampled word is a void-filler. Two people lost for words at a conference will say, “Whadaya think will happen?” “Dunno.” “Should be interesting.” “Yup, should be interesting.” “Yup, interesting all right.”
The ancient Chinese had a curse: “May you live in interesting times.”
But when I say “interesting”, I actually mean “interesting”. (Sorry to disappoint you.) Her posts are refreshingly controversial and thought provoking. Here are just a few examples:
It is this last one that most intrigues me, in Is Happiness for Everyone?, we see a mug shot of a smiling Steve Jobs glaring smugly at the title, as if he knows something we don’t. The question Michele raises is not so much whether happiness is for everyone as much as whether the pursuit of happiness is for everyone.
“For some of us other things are more important than happiness… security, social significance, power, prominence, or perhaps creativity or making a lasting, important, indelible impact or contribution.”
People pursuing power or creativity, for example, are not necessarily unhappy. The pursuit of these goals might be what makes them happy. But the pursuit of happiness might not. For others, the pursuit of happiness is everything. But there is a catch for those pursuing power, creativity and even happiness; one person might be almost completely satisfied with his life chasing whatever he wants to chase, because his happiness is in the chase. Another person might follow the exact same path, but be totally miserable, because his happiness is in the “if only” that he will never catch. If only I had power. If only I could be a little more creative. If only I could achieve this, I will be happy.
If only’s never make a person happy. Enjoying the journey, the pursuit of power, the drive for creativity, the gathering of happiness; these are the motors that drive our happiness.