The pursuit of happiness

Henry Ford

“Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.” ( Unknown)

Celebrating 1 year living in Brazil, one of my dearest dreams, I gave a thought about the pursuit of happiness – which led me to where I am today.

You may say I am a dreamer, you may think I am futile or that I live in a world wearing pink glasses … I am OK with it. I won’t stop believing that as much as everyone has the right to freedom, we all have the right to be happy.

As easy as it may sound or as it is to say, happiness may though not be so easily reachable. Proof of this, is that  hundreds of articles distilling advice on how to be happy are released daily on the internet.

I am though so thankful because most of my family, friends and entourage are overall happy and content with their life. However, our appreciation of happiness, our ability to feel happy, and our belief that we truly deserve to be happy will vary throughout our lives.

Even if thankfully – little is required to be happy, there may be projects and prospects of happiness that will be harder to reach as we live.

There will be days where you feel like walking on clouds, with a light mind and a light heart, yet there will be days when you will be stuck and feel that you can’t take it anymore, and that you cannot get or deserve what you are dreaming about. That is for those days that I am writing this, should you ever need something to get you out of struggles.

Whenever you doubt about your right to be happy, whenever you lie in bed eyes opened looking at the ceiling, lost in thoughts. Whenever you ask yourself if you deserve what is happening to you, whenever you wrongly tell yourself “enjoy what is happening now because it is not going to last” or “you are not deserving what is happening to you” or “why should you get to experience such a nice life when other people are suffering”.

Whenever such thoughts ever come to your mind, I want you to remember that you are entitled to happiness and that you are the only one who can make it happen.

It will require energy, risks taking, and in some instances battling, but you can make it. Battles does not mean fighting or being mean, and it does not require to hurt others, but it surely means standing up for your cause – always respecting others, and yourself.

There will be times when, as you are about to reach your goal, you may suddenly feel like being at the edge of a cliff, paralyzed and afraid of making one more step forward. Be brave enough, it will pass.

Nowadays, one of the most common reasons for people not being happy or not being as happy as they truly deserve is the weight of their past. We are surely the results of situations and choices made in the past, and even if we cannot erase them from our personal history, nothing and no one is allowed to hold this past against us nor hold us back from being happy TODAY, TOMORROW, because of what happened yesterday.

We are not defined by our past, but we are who we are because of it. 

There will be doubts, there will be fears, there will be ghosts of the past, there will be people “knocking at the door of your conscious”. It is up to you to decide if you want to let them in.

There will be jealous, lost or sad people trying to influence or discourage you from getting what you want and being where you want. No doubts about it… but I would just tell them to go and love themselves and help them getting out of the negative spiral they may be caught in. Though do not let them make you walk away from what is yours, especially because happiness is positively contagious.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

Eventually what Henry Ford said is very applicable to this theme … ‘Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.’

“I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams


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