Saturday, April 27, 2013

How to Find Happiness A-Z: X

Image courtesy of Nemo
Yes, X marks the spot.

Happiness doesn't just happen. Well, okay, sometimes it does. The hormones align, there's sunshine, and we break through the mental clouds to find a moment of bliss. (Like taste-testing new cheeses. Mmm.) We'll call this "pleasure".

Real happiness is a lasting sense of well being, a constant and underlying sense that all is good--or that which we can control is good. It's a satisfaction with not only ourselves, but the direction we're taking in life and our accomplishments.

Some people make the mistake of blindly fumbling through life. They take what they're given and grumble about how things stink. They blame the government, their parents, their kids, the world for everything that's wrong, never stopping to consider how they can change things--if they open their eyes and aim for something better.

I grew up in a goal driven home. My father was a doctor, taxidermist, eagle scout, spelunker, pianist, photographer, scuba diver, distance runner, scout master, teacher, hypnotist, actor, basketball player and high adventure specialist. He spoke a couple languages, was a do-it-yourself-er, and raised 8 kids, one of whom was special needs. I learned a healthy sense of ambition just from watching him. He loved challenges. His entire life was about setting goals and then steadily progressing toward them. He was always on the go, always working toward a new accomplishment, and 90% of the time, smiling. (The other ten he was biting his tongue while examining the newest kid-induced hole in the wall, or shouting "you turkey!" at the slowpokes impeding his lead-footed-ness on the road.)

Happiness is a process. It's a journey, but there is no journey without a destination or "X". So what destination are you aimed toward? 

28 comments:

  1. Admiring your Dad! That's a great way to life, exploring various nooks & corners of life.
    Happiness is a process... very true!
    Keep Smiling :)

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  2. Wow, multi-talented dad! But I think you're right about goals and happiness. Striving for something gives you a sense of purpose, which contributes to happiness.

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    1. It's so true. If you don't feel like you have a purpose, where what kind of self esteem would you have?

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  3. Couldn't agree with you more. Happiness comes from doing things that mean a lot to you. It's part of the journey, not the destination.

    My happiness comes from singing and writing, mainly. :-)

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    1. And eating cheese.

      Oh wait, this is you, not me. =)

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  4. Through the whole thing I was wondering what X is, but now I get it. That's a good point, thanks for the reminder!

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  5. Your dad is more like my mum - doing so many things at once. But dad, although he only learned to read and write as an adult, he is still my hero. He put me to school and was very proud that I did well - at a time when daughters was still encouraged to get ready for early marriage.

    And happiness - it means you have your creamiest cheese. I just saw that Crystal ;)

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    1. Aw--what a great daddy!

      Yes, but in a variety--so I can enjoy the full flavor spectrum. Mmmm.

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  6. Happiness is a state of mind. Your Dad sounds bloody awesome. I love him.

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  7. It's wonderful that your father lived how he "preached." It's so important for kids to see that and not just hear it. Being told "you can do anything" is great but seeing it in your parents or others around you is a true gift.

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  8. I hope you have some sense of the JOY you've packed in to these posts.

    Your post is "spot on" for me today.
    Happy A to Z -
    Thank you!
    -g-

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    1. You're welcome! (That was the goal.) ;)

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  9. My Dad was the same way--not so much an adventurer, but a go getter getting projects done and being a do-it-yourselfer. I clearly get my ambition from him lol. Love this post, and it brought back great memories of helping my dad fix the cars :)

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    1. Me too! I used to sit next to him and retrieve tools or bolts. Ah, good memories.

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  10. this post explains a lot about you crystal---i can tell you are a real go getter and get tougher the tougher the getting goes!!!! nice post:)

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  11. Completely agree that happiness and progress is inextricably linked together.

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  12. Your dad sounds like an interesting guy. And what a person to grow up with!

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  13. Great post, wow, what a guy & example to live by, also brought great memories of helping my Dad when I was a kid, sure do miss him -- unfortunately I sometimes fall in the fumbling around category, but I'm trying!

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    1. Nothing says he didn't occasionally fumble. I do all the time. I think as long as we have a basic idea of what we're after and consistently reach toward it, we'll eventually get there.

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  14. You have amazing parents. They are great examples to you and certainly have impacted you into the wonderful person you are. I hope to meet your father one day. I met your mom plenty, but I think your dad was already gone before you and I got to be really good friends. I don't remember. What an amazing man, and what an amazing person you are. Example really is the best teacher, isn't it?

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Hit me with your cheese!