Happiness is Not The Goal

It’s 2019! A time for new beginnings! A time for getting fit!  A time for being more intentional in time spent! A time for carving out more “me-time!”

None of these things are bad.  As a type-A, goal-oriented person, I love having lists to check off.  I love having goals to aim for.  I work better when I have an end point I’m working towards.  Having just finished another holiday season, I have focused on the word “happy” a lot.  My kids are “happy” with their new toys.  I’m happy with the break and being able to sleep in most every day.  We were happy when we are being entertained.  Yes, the holidays are a happy time for a lot of people.  Let’s not let happy be our goal, though.

As happy as my kids were with their new toys, I’ve (within the week or so following Christmas) heard from them about toys that would make them even happIER.  I would be happier if I was able to sleep in EVERY day.  We would all be happier if someone was entertaining us all the time.  One thing I have come to realize is that when being “happy” is our goal, there is always something that could make us “happier.”

Maybe 2019 will live up to every expectation that you have for yourself throughout the month of January.  Maybe you will welcome a child, lose that weight you’ve been itching to say good-bye to, get married, get engaged, move closer to family, etc.  Maybe you will lose a family member, experience infertility, lose a job, move away from family, etc.  Let’s not discount the growth that can occur during the hard times as well.

I hope in 2019, you are able to live life.  Live it in the good, the bad, the plenty, and the want.  All situations can be used for good.  All situations can bring about growth.  I would even argue that my biggest growth occurred when experiencing some of my darkest times.  The one thing in life that is constant is change.  Life will keep changing as long as you are here.  Don’t lose hope in the hard times.  Don’t let “happy” be your goal in life.  Yes, we will experience moments that give us happiness, but don’t let that be your goal in each day.

Be content in knowing that every single day is a new beginning (not just the beginning of the New Year), that some days will be hard, some days will hurt, but it is not in vain.  All things can be used for good.  All things can bring about growth.  Contentment comes not when we depend on our circumstances or things to make us happy.

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