The Pursuit of Happiness

On the matter of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness I have long been a proponent of the notion that you must first be free within your limitations before you can be free of your limitations. Accepting limitations as they now are does not require acquiescence, only the willingness to rest in them while looking for the doors of opportunity that lead to future growth and prosperity.

If you are unhappy, you likely feel pressured by the strictures of present circumstance. You may try to give the feeling a body, attributing your malaise to someone or something, but the fact is that you are confined momentarily much as a fetus is held securely within the mother’s womb.

If you act out of reaction to the sense of restriction, you will likely do harm to the womb of progress and cloud your ability to perceive the narrow passage that leads to the birth of your next opportunity. Conversely, if you stay on point, alert and appreciative for the circumstances exactly as they are configured, you will be able to strike when the time is right with an abundance of energy, focus and enthusiasm.

The pursuit of happiness is linked to your ability to handle pressure. Settling or compromising in any way to relieve the pressure you feel inevitably dilutes the potential for happiness. Many people abort the natural cycles of creative activity that would lead to a complete and joyous outcome by virtue of impatience, which is often nothing more than a reaction to a feeling of discomfort. When you keep it together, that is, when you keep yourself together – body, mind and heart – in relation to the challenges you face at the moment, your chances for success improve greatly. The full experience of happiness is a natural by-product of the unattenuated maintenance of integrity.

12 thoughts on “The Pursuit of Happiness

  1. Pingback: Gold 2012

  2. Duffer

    It seems to me that competition often leads to pressure that cannot turn into anything of value, but often instead turns into broken friendships and relationships. The constant quest to ‘beat’ another for no other reason than to (temporarily) feel better about oneself leads to an unhappy life. Just look at the state of so many former great athletes who in private life can’t compete with their previous life so become insignificant in their own eyes. Or the courts of failure when a company focuses their entire attention on ‘beating’ out another competitor; instead we all need to focus on offering all of the value that we are capable of. It does matter how we ‘play the game’.

    Instead, happiness, true happiness, might best be lived when one is always, regardless of what they are doing, are doing their best – the best that they are capable of considering the circumstances. In other words, set some standards for yourself, and strive to honor them.

    Interestingly enough, as many have discovered, true happiness comes when one basically forgets themselves and instead ‘loses’ themselves in assisting and providing for others. Now there is true happiness! And thank goodness the great forefathers who founded our country put their own wants and needs aside to work together to build something of such value that their values and ideals are still in place today as a foundation for success and happiness.

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  3. T.W

    How can I be the brightest light I can be within my current circumstances? How cam I positively influence those around me, right where I now? Your ongoing posts help to nurture those questions in many hearts. Looking to provide within our circumstance, as is, leaves no room for judgment and allows the windows of opportunity to be seen when otherwise there would be confusion and darkness. Each moment gives way to something new, the seeds of what is to come are sewn in the now. It is easy from this perspective to see how important it is to nurture this womb. There can never be enough to say on this most important subject. Thank you.

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  4. David R

    There is always pressure of some sort as a limited or restricted circumstance is challenged by the expansive and freedom-loving nature of life. That pressure will typically become most intense just prior to release or breakthrough. Ironically, this is the stage where most people have become habituated to failure, giving in to a judgment of the discomfort involved, arbitrarily letting the pressure off and thereby defeating the process that would have liberated them.

    There is probably no more tragic tendency in either individuals or in groups of individuals than this. The principle plays out today in so many ways in our country, for instance. This theme, then, is a perfect fit for us as Americans on July 4th. We would no doubt wish others our ourselves a ‘happy 4th.’ Here are the keys to let it actually be that!

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  5. Colin

    This really makes sense to me. If you aren’t taking full advantage of your present opportunities, you are definetly limiting yourself if anything new comes along. Think of it this way: if you are a boss looking to promote two people from a lousy job to a better job, will you take the one who took the best advantage of his opportunity, or will you take the one who complained about his lousy position? I think the answer is obvious. The trick, however, is translating that to your current life, and maintaining it when the pressure is on.

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  6. happytobehere

    Discribing the process, of waiting for opportunities to open up, as a birth brings in an entirely new perspective from which to consider the situation. It acknowledges that things always change and our lives can be an ever expanding series of “births”. There are many facets to an impending birth that do relate; I’m thinking joyous expectation, faith, patience and an immeasurable desire to protect what you’re giving birth to.
    The habit of rebelling against something that seems to be part of evey life appears a waste as it diverts the source from it’s continuing journey.
    Thanks for spotlighting this particular juncture.
    Happy 4th!

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  7. Ricardo B.

    That’s an interesting take on dealing with one’s daily on-goings. I can see how it ties in with what you were talking previously about judgement too, where that act itself will cause the spontaneous abortion of whatever process was seeking to properly unfold, yielding some great advantage perhaps. Investments are a great example. And trust also is in the picture. Refraining from judging the present appearance of your circumstance, allows you to relax and release control – not acquiescing, for you are ever vigilant – trusting in other words, that the moment will appear to best act. You are ever influencing the outcome, both by doing and non-doing; it is the quality of your consciousness free of judgement and respectful of cyclical phenomena that most effectively penetrates the mix. In science, we call anything in a chemical process that shortstops the chemical tide a ‘rate-limiting step’. I would say judgement fits that definition in the equation of life.
    Thinking this through, it seems like this is the only way to deal with the disastrous entanglements of the effects produced by chaotic minds – all the ills and woes we see around us. Thanks for pointing this critical instruction out!

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  8. Christie S.

    I never thought of it like this before, that the perception of feeling happy or unhappy has to do with pressure. But you are exactly right. How often we blow it the minute we feel restricted or limited by pressure, going for a quick fix rather than seeing the longer haul of the creative process. I like the way you describe giving a “body” to our feelings. Another way to leave our posts. Great meditation on this Independence Day. Thankfully the Founding Fathers did not ditch the whole process of becoming a free nation because of reaction to limitations. It’s great to see how we can continue in the process they opened up for us.

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