Search for the happiness is probably one of the most popular topics out there when it comes to self-growth. The term self-growth already contains the important word which is sometimes invisible to us. That word is called growth. Its visibility is determined by our endless hunger to reach the point where we can say “I did it!”, which should magically turn us into happy badasses.
Someone smart said “enjoy the process”, and “happiness/life is the journey, not the destination”, and loads of similar quotes floating on the internet webz. In some ways yes, but is it a journey?
Is the Universe going somewhere? How does existence behave in the Universe? When you think of it, and take its whole grandiose appearance, at the end of the conclusion, the Universe is just being playful. It is out there, doing its thing, its stars and planets are doing their things… while being so damn impressive with its own natural behavior.
This can be compared to music. Music is also playful. We play musical instruments. We don’t listen to the music to hear the end of the composition. We enjoy the composition. The composers don’t write just the end of the composition. They put the energy and passion into the whole process.
Sadly, we don’t notice those things because of our society, and the education program that we ended up in. It’s all about grading, amount, numbers, speed… After elementary school there is middle school, then high school, then college, then you face life issues, find a decent or shitty job. Work, work, work… until you reach that success? And the same thing as after every testimonial or diploma, there is no much of a difference. A lot of people are depressed, seeking for that next “peak of success” that will make us happy. We cheat ourselves thinking that at the end of the journey there is a bursting energy of great success, and we will say “I did it!”, followed by Hallelujah Chorus in the background at the volume 30% of sound power. But we miss the whole point of singing and dancing while the music is playing. We just wait for the last sound.
The goals that we usually set are not coming from within us, they are coming from the society and culture that created rules to keep us safe. We have a need to take care of each other. Like helping in wars, curing diseases, defending from the wild animals that might killed us… Culture also created safety net such as education so people could position themselves for the better jobs.
That philosophy led us to mindset without higher awareness than running after more numbers, diplomas, likes and materialistic stuff. No wonder that we lack purpose and meaning in life. And we are not even aware of that boring safety zone.
I have found three questions to ask ourselves when it comes to goal settings which differ from the usual obsession of being “successful”:
#1 What experiences I want to have?
Think what do you want to experience on this planet. Think what experiences will make you happy. Those experiences most of the time don’t cost a lot of money or education to be achieved. We could be talking about traveling to different places, new adventures, various tastes in food, what type of person we want to wake up next to in the morning, who do we want to meet…
#2 How do I want to grow?
We are beings who always want to grow and improve, and while having our experiences, we should ask ourselves how to use them to grow. Do we want to learn how to be a better partner or a friend, do we want to learn a new language, sport or instrument…? The growth is already a goal in itself.
#3 How can I give back to the world?
We should ask ourselves how can one developed and experienced person contribute to the world. If we know a particular skill or have experience in some field, we can always mentor and help someone to grow with us. When we make others happy, that makes us happier, and even more than that. It leads us to fulfillment and purpose.
These questions are able to open our eyes to live, and enjoy the playfulness of our existence, instead of constant running after something that is way ahead of us or even not there.