To Pursue Happiness? Try More, Chase Less

If you want to find happiness, you must give yourself chances to stumble upon it.

So much virtual and actual ink is being spilled, so many hours of advice are being given, all in the pursuit of happiness.

The more it is being chased like that, the more it seems to be taken as a right. Even as something that people feel entitled to achieve.

When things don’t work out like that, then, chemical shortcuts from alcohol to anti-depressants are employed.

Big problem:
You could only chase happiness successfully if you knew how to stalk it, where you can find it, what allows us to catch it.

Really, though, we don’t know what makes us happy.

So, as Daniel Gilbert argued, we actually stumble on happiness – if we’re lucky.

The necessary conclusion:
We cannot chase happiness, must not do what we assume will make us happy.
Instead, we need to open up more chances that we will stumble upon happiness.

In daily life and its smallest and most ordinary of steps, we need to give ourselves chances. Maybe we will find that a big part of happiness for us is simply having an ordinary life, maintaining our house in order and our relationships intact, seeing children grow up and friends continue to like us.

In extraordinary things outside our comfort zones, we need to give ourselves chances.

Maybe we will find that a big part of happiness for us is in doing something special.
Go out and learn something new. Get into crafts. Or cycling. Or paragliding. Or patchwork. Or a different style of cooking.

Or maybe we will stumble upon happiness in something ordinary that we wouldn’t have thought would make us as happy as it eventually turns out to do.
Crafts? Cycling? Patchwork? Cooking? Gardening?

It’s a truism, but you won’t know it until you have tried it. For more than the one time during which you feel like an idiot just for trying. (There’s a whole other #unhack lesson in that…)

So, go out and take new first steps. Even if you will stumble. In the one or the other thing, you will stumble upon happiness.

And if not, at least you’ll die trying, not wishing you had tried.

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