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Pursue Happiness: Tips to Reap Real Rewards



"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."     United States Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

You have a right to pursue and be happy, at least in the USA.  Many other countries, not all, agree.  Are you happy?  Happiness is defined by Merriam-Webster as  "a: a state of well-being and contentment: joy; b : a pleasurable or satisfying experience." 

The conclusion of my related study published in Pursuit of Passionate Purpose, is:

"The pursuit of passionate purpose, as well as its attainment, and relationships along the way bring the real rewards in life." 

Those rewards include tangible results, positive feedback, a stronger self, AND meaning and satisfaction in life.  Satisfaction in life is synonymous with happiness.

Impacts on Happiness

Your level of happiness depends on many factors including your age and marital status.  In summarizing the analysis of two longitudinal British studies on life satisfaction authored by John Helliwell, an economist at the University of British Columbia, and his former graduate student Shawn Grover, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, Susan Pinker wrote in the Jaunary 27-28, 2018 Wall Street Journal,

"...happiness is U-shaped across the adult life-span, meaning it normally rises when we're young adults, drops during middle age when life's stresses and existential questions loom large, and then rises again as older adults regain their equilibrium." 

"...married people were 10% more satisfied than people who were single--and were more likely to stay that way.  While cohabiting couples were happier than single folks, they were only three-quarters as happy as marrieds.  ...a close marital bond spurs long-term happiness."

Practical Pointers to Pursuit of Happiness

Find and pursue a passionate purpose.  Passionate purpose is an intention or goal pursued with passion--intense enthusiasm, zeal, fervor, and interest. As a purpose connected to the Pursuer's values and gifts, it is significant.  The more meaningful the purpose, the more intense is the passion and the more noteworthy is the impact.  The pursuit is a 4-step process which includes:  know and nurture the person, find passionate purpose, pursue purpose, and assess progress.

Persist.  Persistence is the act of steadily pursuing purpose despite hindrances or obstacles.  Effective Passionate Pursuers mindfully persevere with focused determination toward their goal using a divide-and-conquer approach.  Once committed to a clear purpose or destination, they divide the journey into parts and couquer the whole, piece by piece.  Working with unremitting will toward a portion until they make some progress, they establish a positive feedback loop. (Learn more about the Persistence Strategy, Ch. 9, Pursuit of Passionate Purpose.)

Allow.  Allowing is also called surrender, non-resistence, letting go, or equanimity.  Effective Passionate Pursuers maintain clarity about what they want, while they allow how they get it to unfold.  They are receptive to options and without attachment to a certain outcome, yet they remain persistent.  In this Psychology Today article on happiness, Michael J. Fox is quoted, “My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” (Learn more about the Allowing Strategy, Ch. 10, Pursuit of Passionate Purpose.)

Connect.  Don't try to do it alone.  The most effective Passionate Pursuers are connected to the web of life.  This support network includes the self and the right people, animals, plants, spiritual forces, and environment.  Proper people are the greatest energizer for pursuits and improper people are the biggest hindrance.  It is vital to build relationships with and bring along on life's journey the proper people and support web, which serve as positive forces.  Bring the proper people along and lessen the impact of the improper ones.  (Learn more about the Connections Strategy, Ch. 11, Pursuit of Passionate Purpose.)


You have the right to pursue happiness.  Begin now--start fresh now.  Here's how:  find a pursue passionate purpose, persist, allow, and connect with others along the way.  You will reap real rewards including meaning and satisfaction in life.

copyright Theresa M. Szczurek.  2017-2018.  All rights reserved.,,