So let’s begin with the name. The “Happy Life Project”.
In order to start a site titled “The Happy Life Project”, I believe it is important for me to describe what it is I hope this “happy life” to be. Now, understand that what I hope it to be is more than likely not at all what it will end up being, or at least it will not evolve and grow the way I hope and/or expect it to. When someone starts a project like this, anything along these lines, the main thing that I always notice is how different the project is from what they thought it would be, or how differently it came about than how they thought it would come about. I expect that to happen. But, just for clarity’s sake, and for the sake of looking back months, years from now and seeing the evolution of this project, let me define what I hope this project to be for me in my life.
So, here it is:
I look at the world around me and see a mass of people that are all buying something. We can’t really call it the “American Dream” anymore because now that dream has seemed to spread to all modernized, first-world countries. I’ll call it the “Material Dream” because that’s what I see at the foundation of this idea. People are buying into the idea that happiness can be purchased. Through going to a certain school, reaching a certain level of education, belonging to a certain group of people, getting a certain job, making a certain amount of money, living a certain kind of lifestyle, and countless other categories, you could actually buy your happiness. You can fill your life with things to bring you happiness. This idea is being bought into by people everywhere. You can see it in the cars we drive, in the houses we live in, in the cities we build, in the clothes we wear, and in the things we fill our life with. I mean, just watch TV for five seconds!
I don’t see happiness. I see lust. Lust for status, for money, for recognition; these are not the things that are going to fill my void when something is missing. When I get depressed, I don’t think of the car that I drive and think, “Man, that just fires me up!” My deepest, darkest moments do not subside at the thought of how much I have in my savings account. My fears do not lift when I think of my college degree. The things that are going to get me through that depression, that darkness, and that fear are different. They are the things that do not sate my lust for the material, rather they are the things that are more substantial, that are more significant. The material things in my life always seem to be so ephemeral, so fleeting. The joy I get from buying a new car pales in comparison to the joy I got from the birth of my baby girl.
So, what am I talking about here? I’m talking about fulfillment as opposed to satisfying an appetite. I’m talking about true contentment as opposed to fleeting happiness. I guess in my own weird way, the title “The Happy Life Project” has nothing to do with chasing after happiness, which I have found to be fleeting, and more about the seeking of true contentment and fulfillment in my life. I have absolutely no idea how this is going to happen, but I do know that I would rather spend my time seeking than spend my time chasing. Seeking implies an innate process of thought whereas chasing, in my mind, implies an innate powerlessness. If I am chasing after something, that means that I believe that I need this thing and am willing to make decisions and take action to pursue it. Seeking something means that there is something that I want or somewhere I want to be that I presently am not, and I am consciously making decisions and taking action to become, change, grow, move, do what I need to do to reach that place. One scenario implies an enslavement, while the other implies evolution. I want to evolve.
All in all, I believe that searching for true contentment, gratitude, and fulfillment in meaningful, purposeful, and passionate life is what equates to a truly “Happy Life”.
I hope this blog will appropriately chronicle my journey.