Friday, 31 August 2012

Chasing Happiness

Isle of Iona

I found myself involved in a very heavy conversation two days ago, and I am still mulling over the parts of that conversation today. The conversation took place between two people I know well, a stranger, from Ireland, and myself.

It started like most conversations, light hearted and of little consequence but quickly it turned to the more serious matters of life.  We broke all the rules, never discuss politics or religion with people you do not know.

The topics covered included both but I suppose what caught my thought the most was the question I am so often asked, where can you find happiness. The Irishman asked me that question after an interesting question about faith and belief.

I now realise I gave very much my standard answer to the question and he seemed happy with the answer. The trouble is, it nagged at me for ages later, and is still there nagging away.

Most people who know me tell me they see me as one who is content and happy. The truth is that I have been far from happy for over a month and more. What people have been getting is not what is in the tin.

So I have been looking again at what I think happiness is and where it is to be found. Here are my most up to date musings.

Happiness is Tolerance. If you become a member of the perfectionist club, be ready to live a life of disappointment often offended and lonely.

Happiness is not the absence of pain. There is no such thing as a pain free life. In fact emotional pain is a useful life tool that alerts you to a mismatch between values and your environment.

Happiness is an association. If you want to be happy associate with happy people.

Happiness is not in fact a pursuit.   Forget about chasing happiness and you will indeed become happy.

Happiness is a state of mind. Regardless of your goals in life or where you are going, you can choose to travel your life’s journey happy or unhappy.

Others can invite you to feel miserable you do not need to accept the invitation.

This blog is linked to my other.  Isle of Iona


  1. Nicely put. Ralph I see you have changed your painting style a bit...and I know you are not sure if you are "happy" with it but be happy in the doing! I envy your sojourn at Iona. I think we all need an Iona in our lives...

  2. Contentment is for cows, Ralph and Happiness is fleeting at best. The same thing that makes us happy today will not do so tomorrow.

  3. It is a beautiful painting, calm and serene.. making me happy :-).. it takes very little to be happy I guess.. no expectations from anything.. from anyone.. from life in general, is keeping me happy!

  4. Hello Ralph. It's nice to be here and reading your lovely words of wisdom. Happiness is a state of mind and I think love, given or received, has a lot to do with it. I really like your painting.