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              hat is happiness, if not a pursuit? What are we to strive for in life if it isn’t elation- emotion that reminds us of what it means to be alive? It seems life is deprived of all meaning if we know we’ll never find happiness, that we’ll never make it there. It may appear that it’s just too far away, that there are too many obstacles hindering the process. 
The fact of the matter is that there is no so-called “pursuit of happiness”, because happiness is not a destination as many may perceive. It’s a choice. You can be happy now. Give yourself permission. Enjoy the scenery along the way, because who knows- perhaps once you arrive you’ll realize that it will have not lived up to its reputation after all. What a waste of time it’d be to dismiss what was in front of you for the entirety of your journey, in anticipation for what waits at the end. You can be happy now.
Don’t look to others to provide you with that relief. It’ll only make matters worse. They may appear as if they have made it, but perhaps they’ve just figured out how to enjoy the ride. Nobody has “made it”. We’re all living the same process. One of the main problems social media has conceived is the accessibility into other people’s lives. We’re only a tap away from witnessing all of the incredible highlights of one’s life that appear to be the entirety of it. We don’t consider the gaps in between, or even the general authenticity for that matter. We just know in our minds that they’ve made it. They’re no better off than you or I, however. The truth of the matter is that they feel the obligation to establish that they’re well off, that their life is perfect as it can get. I’ve been guilty of this- we all have. It’s the world we live in today. Insecurity has afflicted us in more ways than one, and this is only a single example. This has created a false perception of what happiness is, and I believe it’ll only get worse if we don’t make the conscious decision to do otherwise than to live vicariously through people we may not even know.
A motto that came to mind lately that I like to live by is to “Aim to inspire, not to desire.” The more I think about it, the more I realize how Buddhist it may sound. I realize I made quite the bold statement regarding Buddhism in my first book. I claimed that the Buddhist religion is plagued by the belief that to desire is to suffer, yet as I spend more time in introspective states I realize that they’re not wrong to think this way at all. To desire is to suffer. We’re hindering ourselves and our growth as individuals by spending so much of our time waiting to be somewhere else. Stop living through other people that you see on the other side of your cellphone screen. Stop desiring to be someplace other than where you are- physically, mentally, spiritually. Be where you are at, now.


Excerpt from Chapter 17,
Confessions of a Self Imposed Derelict

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