Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Pursuit of Happiness: A Self-Destructive Quest?

The quest for happiness has long been a central theme in human existence, but is the very act of searching for happiness self-destructive?  The question "Am I happy?" can be of the most detrimental questions one can ask oneself. Sometimes we cannot help but be too philosophical for our own good.

The problem lies in the assumption that happiness can be measured and labeled like a thermometer, when in reality, it is a fluid and ever-changing state. Our lives are full of ups and downs, and neither state should determine whether we are happy or not. The idea that happiness is something that life owes us is a fallacy. Instead, it is something that we owe ourselves through a healthy lifestyle and a positive attitude.

The focus should not be on the question of happiness, but rather on our responses to the various situations that life presents us with. It is crucial to be mindful of our reactions during both the good and the bad times, and to maintain a positive attitude towards all situations. This requires a conscious effort and a determination to keep our end goal in mind with every action we take.

Furthermore, the tendency to live in the past is another common trap that can lead us away from true happiness. The nostalgic view of "the good old days" is often overly romanticized and can distract us from the beauty and potential of the present moment. More than that, the notion of “good old days” can be poisonous. It is important to focus on the present and to look forward to the future with hope and positivity. Everything black and white feels warm and poetic but was it really the good old days? 

In conclusion, the answer to the question "Am I happy?" is elusive, and the pursuit of happiness can be self-destructive. The key to a fulfilling life is not to constantly search for happiness, but to live life fully and to get busy doing what what we love, with a positive attitude and a focus on the present. By doing so, the question of happiness should take care of itself.

Monday, April 24, 2017

But FIRST let me take a selfie!

It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” 
~Henry David Thoreau

Busy is not always equivalent to productive. In the fast paced environment that we work and live in, we are constantly faced with countless daily tasks and an ever growing checklist. We tend to prioritize those based on urgency, at least I know I do. When faced with a task, even as small as answering a friend's text message, we consciously or unconsciously make the decision to prioritize that task. In this case, we will choose to drop all and answer that text message or table it to a few minutes, hours, or days later. The point is we are constantly prioritizing our every day life's chores or activities. The question I ask myself today is on what basis are we prioritizing those tasks? 

I realized that often times we let the urgent take precedence over the important. What is important to each one of us differs depending on life goals, culture, age, ambition, or environment. We rarely stop and ask ourselves, what are the most important "things" in my life today? What should I be highly prioritizing every minute, every hour and every day? What are my short and long term goals? Without answering these questions, we let the days meaninglessly pass by without getting any closer to the goals we cherish. We let the days pass by without spending time with our family, getting that certification that could help advance our careers or going to the gym and working towards a healthy lifestyle. We live a life guided by that pressing sense of urgency and let's face it: We end up living in a self created anxiety-filled bubble that controls our life and prevents us from self-progress and ultimately the sense of inner peace. Constantly prioritizing the urgent without getting any closer to the satisfaction of getting or experiencing what we truly cherish and what is truly important to us is stress inducing and can have a negative impact on our lives and the lives of those around us. 

Don't let the days pass by without figuring out what is the absolute most important priorities in your life today and plan around that. Urgent is not always important. That urgent bill that you have to pay today, the work or school deadlines, whatever that emergency task you have to check mark might result in a high opportunity cost later on if it does not fit within your life goals. That is to say that if your life goals is to be debt free or financially healthy, then paying your bill IS important. But now you are making a conscious prioritization decision and a fulfilling one. 

Do yourself a favor and determine your life priorities in writing, voice memo, in your mind...Whatever method you choose, be concise and clear, stay focused around those priorities and next time make a conscious prioritization decisions when you encounter one. Once you do so, reward yourself because you are most likely one step closer to accomplishing one of your most important life goals.