Do You Seek Happiness Or Do You Create It?

Much time, attention, and  contemplation occurs when it comes to the subject of happiness. What causes it? What ends it? How do we keep it once found?

A long time ago I concluded that happiness is something that you must create for yourself. Seeking happiness from outside sources might work in the short term, but ultimately you will end up back where you started, or in a even worse place than before.

Beware if you find yourself saying things like, “I will be happy when/if I…

  • Get a better job.
  • Get into a new relationship.
  • Get out of this relationship.
  • Win the lottery.
  • Next summer gets here.

Such statements show that you are focusing on outside events, circumstances, people, etc. in order to be happy.

The truth is: you don’t get happiness, you have to generate it.

If you wait for the right circumstances to appear in order to be happy, you might just be waiting for a long time.

Seeking happiness is an external enterprise. When you seek happiness externally, the pursuit and subsequent experience of pleasure is often confused with being happy and happiness. But when that experience ends, you are right back where you started and seeking it again once more. This is one of the reasons that our society is so rooted in consumption. Advertisers do a super job of convincing us that we will NEVER by happy until we have or buy X,Y, or Z product, and we fall for this time and time again. Sure, it’s fun to buy new stuff, but how long does that new car or big screen make you happy? Really?

When seeking happiness, the expectation is that something from the outside will fix the inside and that never works.

Creating happiness is an internal function and it works quite differently than seeking happiness. Creating happiness, paradoxically, can best be found in helping others and in service. Consider gift giving as an example. Think of the best gift that you have ever received. It probably made you happy but how long did that last? Now… think of the best gift or present that you have ever given to someone else? Chances are that when you compare the two scenarios the latter provided significantly more happiness in the long term than the former.

Challenge yourself: Are you going to make an effort to generate happiness… not just for yourself but for someone else in the world around you?

Would you rather seek happiness, or would you rather create happiness?

If you liked this article then you might also enjoy reading How To Be Happy – The Two Rules.

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

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