The Pursuit of Happiness e-Newsletter
The Pursuit of Happiness | Chronicles of an American Dream | Our Mission
My name is Wes, creator of thePursuitofHappiness.me. I won’t bore you with the full details of the inspiration for the site (for that, continue reading below this introduction). To share a little bit though; growing up in America, I had always been taught about this nation’s founding documents and I heard all the time about the Declaration of Independence and the phrase “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” but frankly, did not appreciate it until I was in my late twenties.
I mean seriously, our founding fathers named the Pursuit of Happiness as an unalienable right for all in the Declaration of Independence, but how many people do you know that are truly happy? If your experiences are anywhere near similar to mine, not very many. What an incredible opportunity we are squandering!
So this is what thepursuitofhappiness.me is about really, a collection of content hopefully designed to help each and everyone one of us fulfill our own pursuit of Happiness.
I hope to see you around social and on the site – don’t be afraid to leave a comment!
Thank you for your time, after all - it is the most valuable thing we have.
“Whatever things are true,
Whatever things are noble,
Whatever things are right,
Whatever things are pure,
Whatever things are lovely,
Whatever things are of a good report,
If there is any excellence and if anything is worthy of praise,
Dwell on these things.”
An American Dream
The Pursuit of Happiness. What is happiness? How does one achieve it?
Our founding father's even named it as an unalienable right for all in the Declaration of Independence, but how many people do you know that are truly happy?
One of the statements in The Declaration of Independence reads
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
In my opinion, this is the American Dream - at least this is my American Dream - and why my ancestors came to America.
Why start a blog/website? Well, interestingly enough I was gifted a sudden amount of free time, well - at least non-job/career work time which gave me the time to get the site up and running. I'll explain while still trying to retain some level of anonymity. You see, I'm a fixer - that is I go in and help fix small business owner's businesses. It is quite a challenge because problems are always money related and the solutions never are. What I mean by this is that the money is only a symptom of the root problems... anyways and to make a long story, short. My wife is pregnant, my job is super stressful because I find out my employer is doing some not-so-good-things. A confrontation ensues and low-and-behold a week before my firstborn arrives I'm out of a job. What to do now? Why not start a blog! Well, naturally there is a wide variety of emotions when one's primary income source is vaporized with a nine months pregnant wife. Oh yes my wife, let me tell you a bit about her.
I can remember one of the happiest days of my life is when my wife agreed to marry me. A short eight months later, my happiness was compounded as I saw this pretty girl walking down the aisle, eyes fixed on me. The room, the people, and the events were a blur, with her face as the exception. Time passed so quickly, yet somehow not fast enough as I waited for the moment when I could say, “I Do” and hear her agree to be with me as well.
I was so excited to spend my life with this woman. She and I had known each other for two years, and had become best of friends. We had relayed our life stories to one another. We were younger, and our stories consisted little of “adulthood”. We shared our childhoods with one another, our schools, our friends, our families. Throughout this process I came to know what kind a person she is, very caring and intelligent. Someone with the heart of a teacher who I knew would be an incredible life partner but also be an outstandingly competent mother. Now its years later and we have a little boy who is the light of our world and we are so excited to teach him, watch him grow and love him as he matures into adulthood.
But back to the point (I could go on and on about how lovely my wife is but will spare you at least until future posts), I decided to do some soul searching as it were, and my wife and I decide to focus on our American Dream - the Pursuit of Happiness. So the website is born to not only share our stories but help remind others of what is truly important in life. At least this is the goal and I hope you will help make it a success!
Ya know, my wife and I have an idea of what we would like to be happy. Shamefully, our expression of this lends itself to the materialistic as we do have a dream of one day owning and working our land in a somewhat remote part of the United States. We've always had an interest in living a self-sufficient, sustainable lifestyle (even as a kid) and have certainly done our fair share of Google searches regarding such and yes, there are plenty of websites out there about ideas, recipes, tips and tricks, and even a few stories about how this guy or that family has gone "off-grid". We'll share those specifics here as well. However, the journey that help mold this dream of ours did not necessarily manifest itself in the form of the material. As it turns out, it is only a small part of the pure joy I feel when I wake up for the day. When I think about it, ultimately we save for the sole purpose of having the privilege to choose. I mean really, that is what I want in life – options. If I want to retire early-er than others then I can because I’ve worked for the ability to make that decision (without living in a cardboard box). If I have enough saved and something horrible happens in my neck of the woods – assuming I am still physically up for the task – I can just up and leave to a new area (city) (region) (country). And yes, if I have enough to provide for my own family (by not living paycheck to paycheck) then I am much more likely to be in a position to help others in need in a very practical and impacting way. Money may not buy happiness but with it we can refocus on the Pursuit itself.
What I haven't found is how all of this relates to the "American Dream". At least not how it relates to our American Dream - Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. This is more than just off-grid living, or solar panel configurations or discussions about religious freedoms and family. At this point, we don't know what this will be entirely... other than the pursuit of Happiness. We are very much looking forward to the journey and hope you are too.
This blog is about the the Pursuit of Happiness, but not just my Pursuit (which I briefly shared above). We’ll discuss what that means to us:
- Finances (Financial Freedom, Early Retirement, the Privilege to Choose)
- Community (Not only giving back but also moving forward)
- Health (Fresh Food, Routine Exercise, Work/life Balance)
- Knowledge and Education (Living in the information age, let's not bury our heads in the sand)
- Family and Faith (Our Hope, and our comfort)
- Nature and Sustainability (Locally and when possible personally grown food stuffs, off-grid living)
I look forward to sharing all of the trial and error that will come with this Pursuit. We'll share our past failures as well as our future endeavors and any and all tips-and-tricks we come across from others. Already we are meeting some absolutely wonderful people in this blogosphere. We hope you not only learn as we learn, but also enjoy reading about this journey, this adventure and all of the rabbit holes we are bound to jump down.
Enjoy reading about not only our Pursuit of Happiness, but the Pursuit of Happiness of others as we interview those who've undertaken The Pursuit too as well as the Guest Blogs that are already starting to take place.
Thank you for your time, after all - it is the most valuable thing we have. I will strive to share only content worthy of that value. Please enjoy #thePursuit.
-Wes @ TPOH.ME