What is “happy”? What does it mean? Is it a good job? A perfect relationship? 2.1 kids? There are a lot of books, movies and media posts on ways to make you happy. I think for each of us we find it in different ways. Happiness comes from inside. It is the spark that ignites your core getting you up and moving in the day.
For me, happiness seems to be found within the struggle. In the effort itself. Frustration and setbacks are all part of my happiness soup. I excite in the challenge, and even in the pain. I find I am not one to give in, but keep pushing forward on whatever mission I have set myself.
One might think it is the reward that I chase. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I can’t deny that I enjoy seeing things accomplished and receiving praise for a job well done. However, I also shy away from the recognition. Even become self conscious when called out. All the while, I find myself nit-picking the final product, seeing that the end result is not really the end. Endlessly trying to smooth out the rough edges and continue on my quest. You might call it OCD, but I take too many shortcuts for that to really be the case.
Then, when all work is done, I can relax. I rest and enjoy the company of family and friends. Yet in the rest I find myself restless, itching to get “doing” something. Get on with my next mission. Taking a day off and “doing nothing” is hard. I get bored.
I saw this when I was visiting my parents this summer. I enjoyed working on the house and digging in the dirt as much as I did playing on the water. I found it again this weekend while working on my house. I reveled in the frustrations and challenges I was presented with. I see it at work, during the moments of high tension and frustration – I find myself most alive.
I was asked recently if I was happy. Like everyone, the answer is “sometimes”. Right now I feel I am in search of my next mission. The next major challenge.
I see many around me, but which one will mold me? Making me bigger, stronger, faster? Which one will light the fires of my passion? Truth is, most of them will.
It is time to just start down that path of happiness.