Pursuing Happiness

6:00 AM Elizabeth Seckman 34 Comments

It's never wise to over-analyze happiness. As a state of being, it withers under harsh scrutiny. As soon as someone starts to dissect their feelings to determine the extent of their happiness, they always seem to come up on the short end of the happiness stick.

Instead, it would be wiser to approach happiness like a child. Children don't waste time thinking about the pursuit of the emotion. They simply pursue what makes them happy.



Adults would be happier if they approached it in the same way.

Do things you enjoy; be around people who make you smile; and allow yourself the freedom to not have to be happy. It's more productive to simply distract yourself and others from stress and unhappiness. In the absence of stress, the elusive feeling of joy will sneak in.

Forcing happiness is about as real as forced laughter.

In the movie, finding happiness is Hector's goal. Of course, shenanigans ensue and the life lesson unfolds with plenty of smiles and some sighs.

Definitely a movie worth watching.

IMdB Page

Some fun tidbits about the movie, from IMdB:

Hector goes to Africa in one scene and a banner is hanging that says "Welcome Hectar". The sign was done by Africans who assumed the spelling Hector with an A made more sense phonetically. I agree with them. Or perhaps I'd have gone with Hecter…

The scene in Tibet, Hector and the monks are hanging flags. These aren't really explained in the movie, bit IMdB says they're prayer flags. I was unfamiliar with the idea of prayer flags, so I had to look them up. Prayer flags are hung high so they catch the wind where the prayers of the people hanging them are caught on the wind and carried into the universe for good luck. 




34 comments:

  1. Happiness can't be pursued. It's a by-product.
    I do like Simon Pegg.

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  2. It's funny because sometimes, when I'm happy, I do stop and think about why am I happy, what's making me feel like this, can I replicate it in the future, especially when anxiety/depression hits. Other times, I just go with the flow. :)

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    1. I've found the best pick-me-up during anxious, depressed times is to remember my blessings. And since that can be hard to remember when I am in the middle of a self-pity cycle or some seriously crappy stuff, I keep a prayer journal where I list my blessings on good days and list my worries on the bad days. I can look back at all the bad I've made it through and be quickly reminded of all the good things I have in my life.

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  3. Happiness isn't like a beautiful butterfly you can catch in a net. I think it's a byproduct of being content and appreciative of one's place in the world... and of the world itself, as well as the people we share it with. It's inner peace. Living in the moment. Accepting the crappy days that inevitably trip us up from time to time by realizing that more good days are yet to come.

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    1. I think the state of contentedness is the human ideal. It's just not rational to think that every day of our life can be a day at an amusement park, but the daily contentedness of appreciating having a roof over my head and food in the fridge is real happiness.

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  4. Wow, I was just scoping out your blog world and came across the books you have written. I am not a big reader but I'm always working on that. I like to have a book to enjoy while I sit on the beach in the summer. I think I might have to order one of your books for my next beach read...What do you suggest. I love books based in NC and on the beach. You have it!
    Lisa

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    1. I am a geographically displaced beach resident, which means I was born to live near the beach, but was stuck in a land-locked place. The Outer Banks in NC is my home away from home, so many of my books are set there. Past Due and Defying Reason are both set in Buxton. Swept Away is set at Ocracoke. Bella's Point is set on the Snowbird Mountains farther inland. If I had to pick one as my favorite, that would be Bella. It's a historical novel set after the Civil War. The others are contemporary novels.
      Past Due is an adult, character driven story; Defying Reason is an NA that switches POVs from hero to heroin (which was fun!); and Swept Away has a bit of a mystery/paranormal element to the romance.

      Thanks for stopping by and a huge thanks for asking about the books!!!

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    2. Thank you for visiting my blog and your encouraging comment! I came over to visit you and found we have a mutual friend in Lisa!
      I admire you for writing so many books! Im going to do as Lisa did and find your work and order at least one. I find writing is work and it’s not always easy work. My book is more of a memoir and I appreciate your encouragement.....

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    3. @Linda, thanks for looking me up! I'm always happy when people take a look at the books. Lisa had your blog on her sidebar and it looked interesting. Blogging takes me a lot of time because I like to click around and read new, interesting things.

      I love the idea of a memoir. In the very least, it's a great gift to leave your family. At best, you have a book to sell! It's a win-win.

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  5. Yeah, can't mull it over or over it will be. Just enjoy as you can't search it out and over anaylze

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    1. The more you think about being happy, the less satisfied you'll feel. It's like checking out your pores under a magnifying glass. Take a step back and don't be so critical.

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  6. I've done that too, stopped in the middle of a great day and wondered what did I do differently today. Just go with it. We've lost so much from the carefree childhood. I'm trying hard to remember what made me happy then and replicate it now. The lack of fear was a big part of it!

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    1. I will admit, there are some days that I'll just feel buoyant for no apparent reason. My hairdresser would say those are days where I have angels in my atmosphere.

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  7. This post reminds me of the book "The Pursuit of Happyness" by Chris Gardner (movie with Will Smith was good, too.)

    I totally agree. There's sooooo many opportunities for life to be bad/sad/mad that it only makes sense to have/find/search for a place of internal and external happiness... and when you find it... hang on for dear life!

    PS: Your comment made me laugh... there's probably a few words you could use to describe your life, but "seriously boring" it is not :)

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    1. Compared to yours, mine would be a one chapter book!

      I do think the ultimate goal for a happy life is to find internal happiness. But then monks and philosophers have spent centuries trying to find the key to that state of being.

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  8. I’ve known of prayer flags for years and love them! I also loved this movie. It was better than I thought it would be when I first saw the trailer. Living life one day at a time seems to help with the happiness factor too. Relishing what you have while you have it and letting go when you must without regret is what I strive to do. Easier said than done!!!!

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    1. Living one day at a time is a big one. During the worst times of my life, it was "one foot in front of the other" thinking that got me through.


      As for letting go, I have two ways of thinking. If I've done my best and something didn't work out, it's probably not what was meant for me. If I've messed it up, I feel more regret, but I refuse to live backward, so all I can do is learn from the mistakes and try not to make them anymore.

      The older I get, the easier it is to relish the good things. I know it drives my kids crazy, but seriously, if something is survivable, I'm probably not going to freak out over it. I've seen what real problems look like and I'll not waste good times on the little things...if I can help it. I still have those days where I make a federal case out of losing my car keys!

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  9. Yes when you work at being happy it won't come, you will be disappointed by the results, you just have to be, and let life take you there. Having those bad times only makes the happy times that much more special too, but i do believe we have to start off each day thanking God and being positive and the rest will just come. I haven't seen that movie, will have to check it out, never heard of the prayer flags either, that is interesting, kind of like the dream catchers.

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    1. I agree 100% with the attitude of gratitude. There are so many blessings we take for granted every day. We're quick to blame Him when things go wrong, and slow to appreciate all the blessings we overlook.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

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  10. I think a lot of folks forget to ask themselves, "do I want to be happy?" Oft times responsibility, money, success and other junk gets in the way. I think if we choose it, we can have it:)

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    1. That's the worst part of adulthood. Responsibility. So much more fun when that was all my parents' problem.

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  11. I find happiness in the silliest and smallest things, more so than the bigger ones. That way I have an excuse to smile many times every day ;)

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  12. I always come back to the formula for happiness:

    Happiness = Reality - Expectations

    If reality is great and expectations are low, there's going to be a whole lot more happiness if the reality is disappointing and the expectations are high. I pretty much go into everything with low expectations now a days, that way I'm usually thrilled (or at least not displeased) by the outcome.

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  13. That is a great way to look at it. It applies to movies too. When I am expecting big things from a movie, I am often let down.

    And expectations can be so unreasonable. Learn to enjoy the things that veer off course. Those are the unscripted parts of life that often offer the best memories.

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  14. Like Tonja, it's the little things that make me happy. Sometimes I don't even realize how much so until I notice I'm grinning or laughing. I just laughed at the cat making silly noises at the birds he sees in the tree outside. I guess that makes up for him walking on my face this morning!

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    1. Animals are great mood lifters. It's good to stop and enjoy the little things, like cats stalking birds!

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  15. Tiny blessings counted up seem to be the only way I can "find" happiness in the middle of a grumpy/down day. Forcing it doesn't work. However, I have found that I really like watching funny videos on Youtube - like Mad Libs Theater - if I need a quick pick up or a laugh.
    I love your blessings journal idea. And, I'm with Christine - it's the tiny/small things that are the most wonderful - the sound of laughter, the funny noises my cat and dog make, the wind in the trees outside (gusty, not the all-night storm variety), and bits of blue sky moments.

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    1. I'll have to check out Mad Libs Theater. I used to do Mad Libs as a kid and bought them for my own boys. So much fun!!

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  16. I am a huge believer in seeing the world With child eyes. Even when we can’t control certain circumstances, there’s a positive way to spin anything. That’s what I believe. That’s the thought that helps
    me keep trucking ahead. Happy Wednesday Elizabeth.

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    1. I like a positive spin too. It's the cup half empty/half full debate. I'm on the side that every cup is full because even if it's filled with air, it's still filled.

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  17. Wise words, my friend. Oh the hours and lives wasted trying to attain a certain point of "happiness." It's elusive. Better to dodge angst and all the yucky stuff, as much as possible - with mai tais (naturally) on hand.
    Love ya.

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    1. One day, my friend. One day. Virtual cheers until then!

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