More To Life Than Happiness

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Happiness comes and goes more often than we’d like. So why does our culture obsess over searching for it? In Emily Esfahani Smith’s Ted talk she explains there are better ways of achieving happiness in our lives than chasing after it. “Chasing happiness can make people unhappy” (Smith). So instead of chasing after happiness, we should give it meaning instead. “Meaning is deeper” (Smith). Emily goes through and explains the importance of each pillar of the meaning of life. Life shouldn’t be about the lack of happiness you have but the importance of belonging, having a purpose, and your storytelling. What do we feel is the key to happiness? Majority of us all feel that happiness is due to success.

Either success in a job, relationship, or even money (Smith). If we keep on this way we’ll sooner or later wonder, is this really all there is (Smith)? Along with Emily, I agree that there are better things than searching for our happiness or expecting it to show up right at our front door. If I think to myself about what truly makes me happy and how most of the time I’m obsessing over money and being more successful at my job. The more I listened to Emily explain the Four pillars of the meaning of life I realized I needed to change a few things to achieve my true happiness. First, what’s belonging? It’s being in a relationship where you’re valued for who you really are and where you value others (Smith). I had hoped that Emily wasn’t just referring to romantic relationships because I know that there are many other types of relationships other than romantic. I wanted to get a better understanding of belonging and came across an article on the Psychology Today website written by Karyn Hall Ph. D. In her article “Create a Sense of Belonging: Finding ways to belong can help ease the pain of loneliness”, Dr. Hall mentions that a sense of belonging is a human need, just like the need for food and shelter (para. 1).

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I agree with her because we try to tell ourselves that we don’t care what other people think and we know that we’re just lying when we say that. I do care what other people think, especially those that I love and value. No one likes the feeling of not being apart of something, we crave to be part of something worthwhile. Karyn Hall also talks about the comfort we have when we connect with others who are having struggles and going through difficult times, “you are not alone, there’s comfort in that knowledge” (para. 3). It makes me feel good to know that I’m not the only person in the world that has trials and tribulations and we should be able to find comfort in that. We need to comfort one another and value each other. I feel valued as a mother in the relationship I have with my children, co-workers, siblings, friends, and spouse. I belong!Having purpose isn’t the same as having that ultimate job you’ve always wanted but more about what we give. Something to live for (Smith). I’ve been thinking; what do I want to live for? What is my purpose? With these questions, I went on to research to find out how I can figure out what my purpose is. I came across another Ted talk by Adam Leipzig. In his talk, he gave some questions to ask yourself to help find your purpose in life. Who are you? What do you do? Who do you do it for? For who you do it for: what do those people want or need and what do they get out of it? How did they change as a result (Leipzig)? I wondered if these simple questions could really be keys to helping someone figure out their purpose in life. Being a spiritual person, I’ve always known that there’s a purpose for everyone. Some just may not know it as easily as others. “Happier people make it a point to make other people happy and if you make other people happier, life teaches us, we will be taken care of, too” (Leipzig). Life always seems simpler when I’m happy. I am happiest when serving others and nothing seems impossible. I am Tiffany Ireland, a mother, wife, friend, and daughter of a loving Heavenly Father.

They need comforting, protection, guidance, and to be happy. They know that I love them with all my heart and know they can do the same for others. To love. This is my purpose. After reminding myself of my purpose in life I was curious about what Emily Esfahani Smith meant when she mentioned that we all have a story to tell. Storytelling is my story to myself about me. I never thought of it that way. What do I tell myself about me? “We need to realize we are the authors of our own stories and we can change them the way we tell them. Our attitudes towards our lives” (Smith). How can I change my attitude toward my life? How can I change my story? I want my story to be where I’m as happy as those that I am making happy. I know I need to change my story, but also know that I am already working towards that happy ending. I came across an article on the Huffington Post website by Rachel Freed about Telling Our Stories.

Freed writes that telling our story is an attempt to release ourselves from them to evolve and grow beyond them (para. 2). I agree on the importance of this and the need to learn and move on. We should grow from our mistakes. The last couple weeks I’ve paid close attention to how my attitude has been towards just everyday things that happen. When my attitude is hateful and ungrateful my day pretty much is in pieces, time is moving to slow and I’m cranky and taking it out on other people, mainly my kids and I know that’s not fair and I always feel terrible. Compared to the days that I tell myself it will be a great day and are complimenting people and serving others and not worrying about myself; I find that time has slipped away and am reminded we are meant to feel this way. This is how my story to myself needs to be told. I am here to make a difference, to respect and love others. Wonder Woman, I can be!

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