Being Happy?

It’s been a while since I pulled out “My 10 Pillars” here on RJsCorner. I developed this list about four years ago to remind me what is important in my life. Maybe actually living by these pillars, instead of just sticking them on the wall, is the real secret to a happy and fulfilling life.

A couple of major changes in my recent life has caused me to once again question just what I want my life, at least what I have left, to mean. I am now living as a widower in a retirement community. Six months ago, I never imagined that would even be a possibility. That change has initiated others.

With this new lifestyle came the thoughts that “am I living my life as I want?” Yeah, I am alone now and living in a challenging environment, but as I frequently say, that is only a part of who I am, what about the other things? What about my happiness, what about my joy? What about fulfillment? Of course, any of those three are a lifetime journey.

Happiness and joy are difficult to define. They are more a state of being than an emotion. From seeking it all my life, I have come to realize that there is no such thing as total happiness, accomplishing that is a myth. But, there is always some way to do better. Many people think that if they could just win the lottery, they could be happy. That has been found false in so many cases. But, I think I have found the secret to lasting happiness.

It’s really just a matter of being happy with who you are.

For me, that means living my life with principle and integrity. It means treating everyone with respect, even those who don’t treat you likewise. Having a solid foundation for everything you do can mean real happiness if you just let it. But, that isn’t all that really matters.

I want to close out this post with a quote from David Brooks’ book “The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life,” about obtaining happiness.

Life moves from self-centered to other-centered. They want the things that are truly worth wanting, not the things other people tell them to want. They embrace a life of interdependence, not independence. They surrender to a life of commitment.”

Maybe why I have never felt like I was ever truly happy is that I have never allowed myself to just live each moment as they come. I was always looking to a future, where I would improve things. As David says, I need to stop worrying about the future and quit living in the past. But, that has been my life up till, how do I change that? I’m not certain, but I am going to seriously try to do that by actually living my ten pillars.

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