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The Pursuit of Happiness.
What is happiness? How can it be achieved? Just kidding, this site isn’t about the theory of happiness – we’ll leave that to the experts. Our founding fathers did name 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?
There are a number of scientific articles on the net that deal with the ins and outs of an individual’s brain and what biochemical reactions happen when someone is happy. This isn’t a scientific website, this is more about perspective and journey, however, we will post about the occasional research driven discoveries about happiness that we come across from time to time.
Psychology Today says this about Happiness:
Ah, happiness, that elusive state. Philosophers, theologians, psychologists, even economists, have long sought to define it, and since the 1990s, a whole branch of psychology—positive psychology—has been dedicated to pinning it down and propagating it. More than simply positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life—that is, with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction.
Research shows that happiness is not the result of bouncing from one joy to the next; achieving happiness typically involves times of considerable discomfort. Money is important to happiness, but only to a certain point. Money buys freedom from worry about the basics in life—housing, food, clothing. Genetic makeup, life circumstances, achievements, marital status, social relationships, even your neighbors—all influence how happy you are. Or can be.
So do individual ways of thinking and expressing feeling. Researchers estimate that much of happiness is under personal control. Regularly indulging in small pleasures (such as warm baths!), getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and meeting goals, maintaining close social ties, and finding purpose beyond oneself are all actions that increase life satisfaction.
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 it’s 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 to 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 helps 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.Money may not buy happiness, but with it - we can refocus on the Pursuit itself. Click To Tweet
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.
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 talented individuals are already eager to share with you.
Most importantly, 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.
I hope you enjoy reading about not only our Pursuit of Happiness but the Pursuit of Happiness of others as we all share our stories. Tell us about your Pursuit below.
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