My Take on the Pursuit of Happiness

Hey everybody, I’ve got a special weekend post for you guys! Today’s post is an interview I did with Wes, over at The Pursuit of Happiness.¬†He asked me a series of questions about what happiness means to me, and what the pursuit of happiness looks like in my own life. For the entire month of March he’s celebrating the “Days of Happiness” over at his site, inspired by the International Day of Happiness on March 20th.

Below is an excerpt from the interview:

Happiness means different things to different people, what does happiness mean to you?

Happiness is about going through life with a joyful heart, pursuing your passions, and surrounding yourself with the people you love. It’s about being grateful for what you have and about striving to be a better person each and every day. My faith is what gives me my purpose in life, and helps guide me in how I live.

Do you believe happiness is an emotion or more of a state of mind?

I think happiness can occur as an emotion in short bursts, but for it to be an ongoing part of your life, it’s all in the mindset you have. You can’t control your circumstances or the cards you’ve been dealt, but you can control your attitude, work ethic, building new skills, seeking out new relationships and strengthening existing ones, etc. Hard circumstances are going to happen in life, which are out of our control, but we get to choose how we react to them.

Do you consider being happy important to you? Why?

I think deep down it’s human nature, we all want to be happy. I mean, why wouldn’t we? But as I alluded to in the previous question, I think that a lot of it comes down to the mindset you have and the people you surround yourself with. I consider it important, but at the same time it doesn’t take a whole lot for me to be happy. I try to practice gratitude for everything I’ve been blessed with, rather than dwelling on what I don’t have.

What do you consider a fundamental barrier to happiness in your life?

I consider myself happy in my life now. I try not to look ahead too much because I want to enjoy where I’m currently at in life. Of course I make plans for the future and am saving for retirement, but I think it can be a dangerous cycle to get into a mindset of “once I have this, then I’ll be happy.” If you aren’t happy now, you’ll likely not be happy when you get that next “thing.” So as long as I have people I love, am making progress on my life goals, and have enough money to pay the bills I’m happy.

How important is wealth and money to your own happiness?

For me I’ve found that money can be a big source of stress, so I’ve strived to remove that stress as much as possible by building up emergency savings. I don’t need to be rich or have a lot of possessions to feel happy. I’m a big believer in “money doesn’t buy happiness.” That being said, money does buy the freedom for how you spend your time, so I am working towards becoming debt free and then eventually becoming financially independent at some point down the road.

Click here for the full interview, (scroll down until you reach the Q & A section of the post). Let me know what you think by leaving a comment! Big thanks to Wes for featuring me in this interview series, it was great thinking through these questions and I hope you find value in my responses!

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