By Dana Mancuso
Bigg Success Contributor
01-06-09

pursue_happy

The United States Declaration of Independence could not have been a better predictor of America even generations later.

"…Among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," it says.

Americans desire happiness. We've developed technologies, gadgets, appliances, and luxury items with the goal of having an easier, better, more exciting, "happier" life.

As the year-end holidays come and go, I can't help but think of what one might call Christmas Let Down. There is so much anticipation, activity and doing to get ready for whatever holidays you celebrate in December and early January. Then the holiday comes…and goes. And there is the inevitable let down. We sent the cards, got the gifts (returned/exchanged the gifts), ate the food– and yet it does not satisfy. No magic happiness showed up on our doorstep at the end of the rush as our prize for working hard to get it.

We have determined that we the hunters will pursue happiness until we catch it. Then we'll have it, put it on display. Like the 10-point buck forever mounted for us and everyone else to admire.

"Wow, Bob, that's the biggest happiness I've ever seen! Took you a long time to catch that, didn't it?"

We've gotten it wrong. The pursuit of happiness is the happiness we're pursuing. If we can't find glee in the anticipation, exhilaration in the activity, and delight in the doing, we don't really deserve the Christmas Day. 

It's sort of like a making a snowman. People actually go out and make a snowman and enjoy the process of making one. They are building it with friends or loved ones. They take pleasure in rolling the snowball or selecting the right nose. But with the holidays, the build up might be a chore, something to get through in order to actually eat the big dinner or have those guests over. Were we waiting for happiness to land in our laps in one fell swoop instead of building it as we go, bit by bit? Isn't it true that although we're sad to see the snowman melt, we remember how fun it was to create it, not so much what color mittens it had?

Thomas Jefferson worded it right. As we wrap up another holiday season remember this: continually pursue the pursuit—therein lies true happiness.

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(Image in today's post by ba1969)