Happiness and self-confidence can be the byproducts of other things, but they cannot really be goals unto themselves.
I think we can agree that many of the things that we strive for in life: happiness, love, fulfillment, meaning, belonging are often thought of as goals.
But of late, I have come to question the validity of such a thought. Why? Because something like ‘meaning’ cannot and should not only be found at the ‘end’ or apex of a life-cycle. If you think about it, something like ‘meaning’ is often found in the journey.
I’ve always been fond of language; I think shifting the language that we use to talk about what we want from life can help us to engage more serendipitously with life.
Can you imagine what that would be like? To realize that the collateral of every interaction we have generates happiness? or fulfillment? or meaning?
If life is a story that we tell ourselves then why can’t we choose to find ‘happiness’ in all the experiences we have?
My inspiration to synthesize this piece came from Jennifer Senior’s Ted Talk: For Parents, Happiness is a very high bar and my own mulling on life.