The happiest people I've ever known really haven't ever
needed a reason to be happy--they just saw being happy as
a much better way to go through life than not being
happy. I've learned a lot from them about not
depending on situations or circumstances for my happiness;
they've taught me that my happiness is my choice from
moment to moment, and the analogy of traveling is a very
apt one, indeed.
I've traveled a lot in my life, and one of the things that
I know for sure is that the trip becomes unpleasant if we
start thinking only about the destination rather than our
current surroundings. If we keep our minds only on
where we're going to be rather than where we are, then we
tend to miss much of the beauty that's all about us.
Then we could even say that we're not even travelers, for
we're not even paying attention to our journey.
Likewise, if we wait for happiness to "arrive,"
or if we wait until we arrive at a state of happiness,
what's that saying about right here and right now?
When we're not happy now, then we're saying that there's
something about our current circumstances that's keeping
us from being happy, even though we know instinctively
that that isn't the case--happiness comes from within
ourselves, and is not a result of outside
conditions. If we want to travel in happiness, so to
speak, then we have to make up our minds to travel as
happy people, and not travel as sour voyagers who can't
wait until they get to their destinations.
It sounds much easier than it actually is, of course--most
true things in life do. But if we focus on the way
that we travel through life, one of the most marvelous
results is that the destination eventually ceases to
matter--we'll be happy and content and satisfied no matter
what we end up doing. And while goals and dreams are
great guides, it's the ability to give up a goal when we
realize that another path leads to fulfillment that can
lead us to much more extraordinary destinations.