In last week's column, What floats your boat, I wrote about a friendship in time where three of us were trying to decide our life's direction. For the first Monday Guest column, Jan has written her side of things. I love Jan's writing and the way she sees the world in such a different way to me but often seems completely right! She makes me think and I hope you enjoy her contribution.

The pursuit of happiness
by Jan
Kathryn has asked me to write a column about the pursuit of happiness. I think it is an interesting subject as happiness is such a difficult word to define that till this day I still cannot fully explain what it is. I do however remember when I was a child and being asked what I want when I grow up, I said I wanted to be happy.

Such a simple answer. And yet as I grew older, staying happy seems to be a more complicated task than I thought some twenty years ago. Things happen and life can throw you a few curve balls, and try as I might, I couldn't at all times, "be happy".

Anyway I digress.

I guess what I consider to be happiness does not come with an easy answer. If I had to pin it down to something, my happiness comes mostly from people and companionship. With the right company, I am happy doing anything, anytime, anywhere. Life is without fun if not for each little moment that brings a smile to your face and more importantly, the people that you share those moments with. But it is by no means considered a "life goal" for me. Don't get me wrong, it does not come without effort nor is it to be taken granted of, but I don't think it has to be in conflict with what I want to do with my life.

I guess I am what one might call a "driven" person, whatever that means. I like what I do and want to be good at it. And if I am good at it, I want to go somewhere with it. I enjoy being productive and making a difference in my own ways. And when I said if I must choose between "money, power, fame, pleasure", I would have chosen power, it was said in the same spirit.

It was indeed an interesting discussion between Trev, Kathryn and me. Of course I think no one is wrong, or can be wrong, it was simply a matter of personal choice. Trev's choice to backpack around the world was an interesting contrast to me and of course is something I would never do. I think the need for a sense of security and stability has a lot to do with that. But for him, it works.

All being said, I am a firm believer in "work hard, play hard". To me, holiday is not as fun without work; and work is not as enjoyable without holiday. I can't see myself perpetually being on holiday, assuming money is not an issue. I will find myself without direction and don't know what I am doing with my life.

But direction is merely where you are headed. You could speed down the road to get to the final destination or you could slow down and enjoy the scenery while you get there. And I will say that I am not in great hurry so much so that I will give up the other important things in life.

At the end of the day, I guess, the pursuit of happiness to me is trying my best to strike that perfect balance of having (half of) my cake and eat it (the other half) too. I may end up with more of one or the other, willingly or not. But I have to at least try.

And of course as they always say - it is not about the destination, it's about the journey.


 


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    The Monday Guest

    The Thursday Column has become an institution; mostly just for me but there are a few people whose feedback suggests that my desire to publish something near the end of the week has resulted in a product that fills a pre-weekend Thursday muse or a Friday morning coffee break. Well, I'd like to start each week in a similar way and have asked my many brilliant friends to support this goal. If you would like to contribute, please contact me.

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