Is the pursuit of happiness a bunch of bullshit?

Well, maybe – according to Gala Darling. But according to me, maybe not.

My cousin Jenna sent me the link to a blog post on this very topic and I absolutely loved reading it. Essentially, Gala Darling talks about how over the past couple of years we’ve had the concept of chasing happiness forced down our throats by books like The Happiness Project and in the end, unless you practice daily the strategies listed in these books, they don’t really amount to making you happier. In her mind, happiness is something that just happens.

Overall, the article was really insightful and had some good points but I thought the author missed the main point of books like The Happiness Project. It’s not always that the author of the book or even those who read the book are actually unhappy. They’re seeking to find meaning and enrich their life experience and by making practical and tangible goals you end up learning more about yourself. The author of the blog post refers to those practical strategies (like cleaning out your closet or making your bed every morning) as happy diversions that don’t actually make you happy. Maybe for Gala Darling it doesn’t, but for others maybe it does. I thought this statement pretty much contradicted her main theme of the blog post: that happiness is different for everyone; what works for one doesn’t always work for another. If you love yourself happiness will just happen.

I love the concept of radical self-love but do I think the pursuit of happiness is a bunch of bullshit? No way. I adore books that ignite inspiration and force me to examine my own life. I like being challenged because in the end I think it all leads to radical self-love anyways. Chasing it, well you learn more about yourself beyond just what you like to do. You understand your values and how they were shaped. You appreciate them and all of my chasing has given me an appreciation for the journey. I’m never satisfied just settling and I love myself even more for that.

For me, I guess I just don’t believe that self-love and chasing happiness are mutually exclusive. If you want to change your life and love yourself more, don’t you ultimately implement practical strategies? And by chasing radical self-love aren’t you ultimately chasing happiness?



Filed under happiness, self-introspection

2 responses to “Is the pursuit of happiness a bunch of bullshit?

  1. Dina schultz

    Agree. Pusuit of happiness is not bullshit.

  2. Pingback: Striving for happiness « Life After School

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