It is apparently Deep Thought Friday over at BlogHer. Today's blog prompt is:
Gandhi said, "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what
you do are in harmony." Agree or disagree? Is there more to happiness
I don't believe that happiness is a permanent state of being. Happiness is as transient as any other emotion, but I do think it is possible to find some sort of state of general overall contentment or sense of well being. AND I do think the above quote does have something to do with it...sort of.
There has been a fair amount written lately about how having a life that has meaning can be more important, and more achievable, than trying to create a life that is filled with happiness. Some even say that happiness is the altogether wrong thing to pursue and that in the end, if you chase after happiness, you will find yourself feeling let down. I have to say that I agree.
When I, for example, look at my return to school and I ask myself does it make me happy? I'd say that most of the time it does not. Each semester I struggle with high amounts of stress as I try to balance homework, creative pursuits and working. I give up most of my social life and feel quite lonely at times. There are fleeting moments of happiness such as when I do well on a paper, or become entranced by a new idea, and I'm sure that when I am finally done I will feel whole heaps of happy, but over all school is mostly a difficult and time consuming struggle. Despite this I keep going.
Because I know that I am working towards something. Not just a degree, but something larger in that it is providing me with the skills to pursue an idea that will not only help me to make a living doing something I enjoy but will, in the long term, help other artists to pursue their dreams too. If I based my decision of whether or not to keep going with school on the amount of immediate happiness it brings me, I'd have quit long ago!
So I do in part agree with the above quote. I have a general sense of what my purpose is and I find meaning in pursuing it. And while it might not bring me to a steady state of happiness, I know too that if I still worked in a 9 to 5 high stress job and relegated my more meaning filled pursuits to the level of hobby, I'd be one very, very, very UNhappy woman.