I recently heard a quote that I haven’t been able to get out of my head. I’m not positive where I heard it –I think Joshua Fields Millburn said it on “The Minimalists Podcast”– and my best googling has turned up nothing, but it has made a pretty big impact on my life as of late.
It went something like this:
Happiness isn’t something you get. It’s something you are.
And holy cow, man, has that resonated with me.
For me, true, deep, happiness always comes out of nowhere. I’m not talking about short term “Oh wow, you got me a present!” happiness, I mean the kind that makes you wish a moment would never end. The kind you reflect back on when you’re feeling most at peace. I’ve gotten that feeling at home, at work, with my wife and by myself. There doesn’t seem to be any specific trigger, it just shows up. And I have absolutely no idea how to reliably or consistently replicate it.
But that intangibility is why this quote is so important for me. True happiness isn’t something you can get, or find, or achieve through any specific action. It only manifests when you’ve created an environment in your life where it can happen. You don’t get happy, you either are or you aren’t.
So I’m working on reordering my life around simply being happy. I know that clutter and disorder around my house stress me out, so I’m reducing the number of things I own down to my favorites. I know that social media spirals me into a depressive oblivion, so I removed it from my life. I know my family makes me happiest, so I’m trying to spend more meaningful time with my wife. I’m laying the groundwork for my life to be effortlessly happy, not trying to do things that I think will “make” me happy.
Because, when it ends, the things I did during my life won’t matter much. What will matter is how I felt while I was doing them.
Thanks for reading, you’ve got this,