Aggressive Pursuit of Happiness

The more aggressively you pursue happiness, the harder happiness becomes to achieve. That’s because trying to be happy focuses so strongly on self, while long-lasting happiness inevitably involves others.

Happiness is a by-product of activities and relationships that suit you. It’s never something to strive for, in the sense of striving for accomplishment in most areas. The harder you focus on the misbegotten goal of happiness, the more you isolate yourself, and isolation never leads to good feelings in the long run.

If you are inclined to try to be happy, the best strategy is to give up. Get with people you like and enjoy. Do activities and pursue goals that matter to you. Find meaning in your daily actions. Appreciate the little things and be grateful for the good things in life.

Growing up, especially in the teenage years, it is essential to develop your own identity and get comfortable with yourself. Once grown, people find much more satisfaction in turning attention away from self to relationships with others.