Take Action and Achieve Happiness…
“Life. Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…” – seven words from the United States Declaration of Independence, and what seven words they are! Penned by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) in 1776 and adopted by the Second Continental Congress on July 4th, 1776, the United States Declaration of Independence is one of the most influential documents ever written, and in spite of time passing, these seven words continue to inspire freedom-loving people around the world seeking happiness.
But here’s the crux: does happiness derive from the pursuit or is it a state of mind? We hear a lot these days about the so-called 1% and the wealth they’ve pursued and accumulated, but are these people happy? They may have private jets; a large house (or several), expensive tastes, and boats floating the seas, but are these things the cause of their happiness, assuming they are happy?
Certainly material things are a necessary part of life, for without them, we could not survive. In some shape or form we require shelter from the elements, food to keep hunger at bay, and clothes on our backs. Think Abraham Maslow’s (1908-1970) hierarchy of needs from his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” and it’s clear that humankind cannot live without the basics, but it’s is also clear that humankind requires a whole lot more, than just material things to
Ultimately, happiness stems from within. It’s a feeling of contentment, of having gratitude for the things and people in our lives. This does not mean we halt our pursuit to improve our place and become a better version of ourselves because we’re feeling happy. On the contrary, we retain a happy mind by taking action to improve every facet of our lives, whether it’s business, career, health, family, friends or love. And it’s essential that none are neglected, or else we risk an unbalanced life, and an unbalanced life is the path to an unhappy life.
So does happiness derive from the pursuit or is it a state of mind? It’s both, and one feeds the other. Take action, and happiness will follow. When happiness follows, action is taken. We dare not stagnate and stop. To prevent this we must retain self-belief and acceptance (see Acceptance, Self-Belief and a Rising Phoenix…). Self-belief keeps us moving forward even when storm clouds appear. Acceptance keeps us real to the problems and challenges that will, and always do, arise.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), undoubtedly America’s most celebrated polymath, said that “Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances.”
Let’s remember this the next time we encounter disappointment, failure, and misfortune. Tough times happen, they always will, but it’s how we deal with them that really matters. Sit back and do nothing, happiness will fade. Sit up and take action, happiness will return – and it will return with the smile of a Hawaiian Tiki…
For more, check out The C.A.T. Principle: Change, Action, Trust – Words to Live By, a Global Ebook Awards GOLD Winner for Best Self-Help Non-Fiction Ebook of 2014, available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. See the latest Amazon reviews here. Now revised and expanded, and a Nominee for the Best Self-Help Non-Fiction Ebook of the 2015 Global Ebook Awards.
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