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  • Writer's pictureEric Dahl

Happiness is Not

Personal happiness or joy is not an easy thing to quantify or find. In the past few years, I have definitely been in search of it and found it to be elusive like a Snipe when you are hunting it, but when you allow it to happen naturally then you can embrace it. Therefore, I thought it would be easier to define what I have personally determined Happiness is Not. It is not a city, state, country, or place – although you can be happy in any of those if you allow yourself to be. Also, just because you were happy in that city, state, or country before doesn’t mean you will be happy when you go back unless the right people and situations are in place again. Happiness is not money or material objects even though buying guitars and music gear briefly makes me happy I tend to enjoy the hunt more than the capture. Money and material objects come and go and the objects that seem to mean the most to me are the sentimental ones that belonged to close family, or my daughter made or gave to me. Happiness is not being successful because unfortunately some of the most successful people are just like you and me and are still seeking happiness too. And success is fleeting and subjective. Being loved or appreciated isn’t happiness because we need to love, appreciate or at least be thankful for ourselves first and foremost. Confidence is not happiness but most of us feel more confident when we are happier. A big house, swimming pool, acres of land and expensive cars and motorcycles aren’t happiness. Being in a relationship isn’t happiness unless it is a mutual relationship that both people enjoy, and they make each other happy for the right reasons. Family is not happiness but most of us experience more happy moments and memories when we are around our loved ones and family. A great career is not happiness unless you achieve happiness while doing it. Financial security, stocks and bonds are not happiness, but they can provide you a since of stability and make our lives less hard when bills need to be paid, medical expenses arise, or we need to take care of our loved ones. In my pursuit of happiness, I’m seeming to find it more in simpler things and experiences. I’m happy going out to eat with my daughter. Riding the Harley out on the Natchez Trace puts me at peace and makes me happy. Playing guitar on my couch makes me happy. Restringing my guitars and working on other peoples’ guitars makes me happy. Completing the laundry and cleaning my house provides me a sense of accomplishment and makes me happy.Playing music for my church always makes me happy. Helping out friends and family in needs makes me feel good and gives me a feeling of happiness. Working around my yard can evoke happiness or cooking a meal. Happiness is not a grandiose trophy or mountain we must climb. I believe it is more a case of being open to the feeling of happiness. Like a nice walk around your neighborhood on a beautiful day. Or a great workout or run you accomplished today. Happiness can be hiding or lurching anywhere and in all of us if we are open to it and it can exist in the most mundane act or experience. As I am maturing, I want to experience, see and do more. Possibly those things will bring me more happiness, but there is no guarantee. We can’t count on other people, family, pets, or friends to make us happy. Only we can mine and define what makes us happy and then we should try to do more of that – and share it with others.


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