Happiness as a State of Becoming Rather Than Being

We are all seeking the good life, one filled with peace, love, security and freedom from fear. That goal is clearly a worthy one, yet the achievement of such an ideal state of being would not produce happiness.

Does that sound rather ridiculous or even contradictory to rational thinking? Not at all. The state of being ‘happy’ would by definition lead us to boredom and complacency. Having all our wishes and desires fulfilled would bring the journey to an end.  And it is this very journey and traversing the bumps along the way, I believe, which is the source of real happiness.

It is the process of overcoming adversity, difficulties, sadness and disappointment, of collecting and channeling our strongest virtues and talents and actually seeing progress…..that is what provides us with the greatest satisfaction.

If your greatest goal was suddenly handed to you, if you did not have to struggle to achieve what you want, you would rapidly tire of what you have, even feel unfilfilled. If you were born into an extremely wealthy family and did not have to worry at all about financial independence, it would most assuredly take the edge off of any achievement of financial stability.

This fits completely with the metaphysical understanding that life is a process of challenge and overcoming. The achievement of a goal, after much frustration and even rejection, makes it that much more satisfying.

Being at a place of contentment and peace without anywhere else to go would quickly bring boredom and discontent. To me the concept of retirement is such an example.

Now, there are many who look forward to this state of being and claim to completely enjoy it. I, for one, would not. As I have noted in past postings, I do enjoy golf on many levels. But to center my day/life around it would be rather depressing. It serves as a great counterpoint to my work and writing but as a end in and of itself, no thanks.

Psychologists speak of the adaptation that occurs when individuals achieve some material status or object that greatly desired. The thrill seems to wear off and a disappointment inevitably sets in.

The antidote to such a reaction is simple–see life as a journey, a continuous process of overcoming and growing, of learning and becoming a ‘better’ human being. This is truly the journey of healing and happiness we all seek.

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