The Pursuit of Happiness

“Happiness is like a butterfly. The more you chase it, the more it eludes you. But if you turn your attention to other things,It comes and sits softly on your shoulder.” Henry David Thoreau.

I found this quote over the weekend as I was preparing for my posts on “happiness”. I totally agree, the more I chase happiness, the more it seems to move on to the next flower. When I really sit down and think about it, maybe it is me who is moving on to the next flower, if not literally in thought?

Flower? No, not really a flower but on to the next best thing. Monday, we talked about confusing happiness with pleasure. I don’t know about ya’ll but I get bored easily. Things that were pleasurable the first time, just don’t have the same umph after multiple times. You know how you get that new car and the first 6 months that car payment doesn’t really bother you but by month 7 you are so OVER it?

Yeah, pleasure is a lot like that. Pleasure is mostly sought after due to boredom or a discontentedness with the current situation. So, when I am bored or feeling dissatisfied with something, I seek out something that will bring me pleasure. Which brings me back to the new car situation. How many people buy cars or other expensive things because they are discontented with something?

The funny thing is that I when I seek out “pleasure”, I am actually tricking myself into believing that the “pleasure”is actually happiness, I usually end up unsatisfied after the experience has ended, or craving more.

Ya’ll know the routine. Instead of looking at what we have now, we look to the future. “When we get this debt paid off, then I will be happy”. “When I lose this weight, then I will be happy”.

Cyrstal Boyd got it right when she said the following:

“We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another.

Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough
and we’ll be more content when they are.

After that we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage.

We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire.

The truth is, there’s no better time to be happy than right now.

If not now … when?

Being happy now means being in the moment not regretting the past or wishing about tomorrow.

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day which the Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it”.

This post is part of a weekly meme entitled: Pour Your Heart Out hosted by Shell at Things I can’t Say!


  1. I'm always looking forward to the next thing instead of enjoying the moment. I need to work on this.

  2. wise words, my friend. There's no better time to be happy than right now.

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