The Pursuit Of Happiness

The Pursuit Of Happiness
The hardest job that many of us will ever have in our lives has nothing to do with work.

It has to do with life. With developing a basic understanding of your purpose. With pursuing that purpose. And with making sure that purpose and that pursuit brings you happiness.

Because happiness is really and truly all that matters. The happiness you feel in this life is a radiant force that touches everyone close to you and adds to their happiness. It affects everything you do, and how you do it. It affects the people you do these things with and, in turn, how they do the things they do.

You read a lot of stuff on sites like beBee and LinkedIn about how to be an effective manager or leader. And while everybody’s technical approach to this subject is different, the one common thread is that the leaders who are the most effective and the ones who are the happiest. The ones who get joy from their work. The ones who can inspire others because they themselves are inspired by their love of whatever they do.

And this principle is not just restricted to business. It’s universal.

Students learn more from teachers who are happy to be teachers.

Whole countries can excel under the leadership of people who derive joy from leadership.

Look at John Kennedy and how he was able to inspire a whole country. Look at Martin Luther King and how he was able to inspire a civil rights movement. Look at the Dalai Lama and how he is able to inspire hope in places where hope is hard to come by at the best of times. Just by spreading messages of peace and harmony and equality that people instinctively know comes from the heart.

The World Is Not The Shithole It Currently Appears To Be

I spend a lot of time looking at the world. I’m not thrilled with what I see. There are a lot of things that need to change. A lot of things that have gone on too long and that take the world down the wrong path. A lot of the needless suffering and displacement.

It’s not pretty and it does not inspire happiness. But on the other side of the coin, the bigger picture for the majority of people in the world is bright. We are growing as a species. People are generally smarter. People are healthier. People are more inquisitive. And people who are following their happiness are coming up with great ideas all the time.

It all depends on how you choose to look at the world.

If you look at the dark side, you see a lot of darkness. You see inhumanity. You see exploitation. You see evil. And I can tell you from personal experience that the dark side, for a writer who is driven by his passion for writing and his disgust with things that are wrong because of people’s hunger for power or their greed, this can be a pretty appealing place to be.

But lately, I have started to feel that perhaps the best way to defeat the dark side is not to criticize it, but to extol the virtues of the other side.

It’s been a long hard journey, extracting myself from this space. Because for a long time, I was deriving a great deal of happiness from my role as a social critic. And though I don’t really believe I will ever completely abandon this pursuit, what I have begun to do, one or two steps at a times, is start looking more closely at the other side.

This Is Where The Happiness Is

If you open yourself up to the world and focus your thinking on the positive, you will almost immediately see that there are many, many people out there who are working to make this world a better place.

They are creating new ideas and technologies to slow down the pollution of the earth.

They are creating and building empires based on alternative energy sources, which as time goes by, will eliminate the need for exploiting the planet on the scale to which it is being exploited now.

They are creating new kinds of architecture to house people and businesses in comfort and create work environments that promote greater productivity and harmony.

They are inventing technologies that are allowing people to share ideas and build products in new and more innovative ways.

They are developing amazing new ways to grow food in controlled environments that do not require pesticides.

They are developing new treatments for disease and ways to keep people healthier to reduce the horrendous burden that disease inflicts on the health care industry.

The list goes on and on and on. And one by one, indivisuals, groups and even whole countries are being inspired by these people and these ideas.

And this is what will change the world for the better. The idea that more and more people will be able to work in these new areas and derive real happiness and inspiration from them is something I personally find quite inspiring myself.

The World Is In An Uneasy Transition

There are many forces of darkness out there, mostly run by old men with old school values. Men who have lived their lives as joyless exploiters and plunderers of the earth and of other people.

But these old men are part of a dying breed. They are gasping for breath as the power of the new world that is building is literally suffocating them.

Because as new businesses form and grow, run by truly forward-thinking people who understand that the earth is not a piggy bank that we can keep robbing, the changes will grow. And the ideas will mature. And the world will be a different place.

I may not live to see this completely realized, but many of you will. And how quickly this all comes about will be directly related to how quickly you would like to see it happen.

It’s about how many of you support these technologies and ideas. It’s about how many of you discover that your happiness lies in truly being part of the solution? It’s about how many of you are willing to push for change and realize that this is actually the ideal time to do that?

I sincerely hope that all this comes about ooner, rather than later. But I am just happy to see that it’s off to a flying start and the future looks a lot brighter than some people would have you believe.

PS: This piece started out as a bit of an essay on the joy and happiness that I get from writing. But a big part of the joy comes from the fact that while I may start out with one goal in mind, I really don’t mind where it actually ends up taking me.

Because with writing, as with many other pursuits in life…getting there is pretty much all the fun.

jim out

Jim Murray is an experienced advertising and marketing professional. He is a communication strategist, writer, art director, broadcast producer & mildly opinionated op/ed blogger.

He is also a partner at Bullet Proof Consulting.

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