Happiness Is Not Enough

happiness is not enoughNot that long ago I had an insight that completely changed my beliefs about being happy and that is that happiness is not enough.

The thought that I had when I had it at the time was actually, “screw happiness.”

I’d probably better explain myself…

Two weeks ago, I was taking care of errands and I was walking on my way to the Post Office. If I had to describe my mood, I would characterize it is “UP” or on a scale of one to ten, I was at an eleven.

Now mind you… there wasn’t anything particularly good or great about that day. On the contrary, it was just a normal day with the appropriate mixture of “stuff” both good and bad. It wasn’t like I just found out that I had won the lottery or anything.

Life was just life, nothing had changed externally but something had shifted within me.

I noticed my mood and if I had to label it, I would just say I was “ecstatic” and not ecstatic or feeling ecstasy in the sense of physical pleasure or a fleeting experience, just ecstatic to be alive.

Then I had this thought… Forget Happiness! Happiness is no longer good enough. Happiness is not enough! I don’t want to be happy anymore. Nope! I want to raise the bar. I want to play life at a completely new level now!

Instead of just trying to be happy which is simple based on my two rules of being happy…

1. Decide to be happy.

2. See rule number one!

I want to go beyond that and this is now my experiment of one… my newest challenge for myself which is to see if I can do this… to maintain this feeling at this level as much as I possibly can.

I am deciding to live in ecstasy now, to live with passion, in utter joy, to live in wonderment and in awe of the awesomeness of the world around me… to see the world as if through the eyes of a toddler where everything is bright, shiny, new, and exciting. I am choosing to believe that ALL things are possible and to live without doubt.

If happiness is accessible, which I truly believe it is, then so is that next level – whatever you want to call it. This is from where I want to approach life from now on and what I have been doing rather consistently for the past two weeks.

To be clear, no, I don’t think that I can maintain this level of a mood every day, 24×7 but it has been a conscious exercise to be there as much as possible. And when I find that I am not there, to put to use the tools that I have such as gratitude, detachment, and acceptance in such a way that it does elevate me back to that point.

So… in addition to my holiday weight loss challenge (down six pounds so far) for the month of December, this is an additional challenge that I have given myself. To live consistently in that zone of eleven on a scale of one to ten, or ecstasy, or whatever  you want to call it as much as I possibly can… And I have to tell you, I think I have been there more often that not… which is pretty cool.

Happiness is not enough. I get that now. For me it is a mind-blowing concept but believable at the same time. Just as easy as it is to “decide to be happy” then why should it not just as easy to decide to take things to the next level?

What do you think? Do you agree that happiness is not enough? Do you struggle just getting to the point of happiness? (If you do we really should talk.) Do you believe it is possible to function in a place that supersedes happiness and to be able to stay there?

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado

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Photo By Andy Wooten 29 August 2013

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