The Pursuit of Happiness

“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.”

In 1776 Thomas Jefferson wrote these words in the Declaration of Independence. Now each year, on April 13, in order to reflect and celebrate happiness and our right to pursue it we celebrate what is known as the Pursuit of Happiness Day.

So what exactly is the Pursuit of Happiness?

In life, people surround themselves with people they like being with, participate in events they enjoy, volunteer for causes they believe in and take on tasks they will have fun doing. People then expose themselves to a healthy amount of each of these elements each day to make them feel good – and the combination of these elements is known as the Pursuit of Happiness.

People need happiness to survive. We literally cannot go more than 24 hours without doing something that will make us happy. If we do, we often find ourselves feeling depressed and like we have no purpose in the world. As I’ve stated in my Happiness…defined post, we choose what makes us happy, so there is no excuse to not be happy for at least part of your day. If something goes wrong at work, call up your friend or significant other and talk about it. Chances are, simply talking to them will instantly make you happier than you were before you called them.

I recently went through a tough time personally and thought that I would never be as happy as I was again. I hesitated talking to anyone because I didn’t want to bother them with my problems. Finally, I decided to call up my parents. It shocked me how much happier I was simply talking to them. I was still discussing my problems and what was upsetting me, but the simple fact of just sharing my troubles with someone else made me feel much better. Following our conversation, I reached out to a few other friends and with each conversation I had, the happier I became. Now of course it didn’t take the pain away, but it definitely helped me come to the right decision – a decision that would put me back on the road to a happier me.

Pursuit of Happiness Day. What a thought. Who would have ever imagined that we would have a day devoted to happiness? I think it is an absolutely amazing idea. Today in the student union of my university, there were puppies, a free Zumba class, a campus-wide dance video and free cookies! Did I mention there were puppies? Celebrating this day made me think back to all of the things that make me happiest in life.

So what makes you happy? What are the things that put the biggest smile on your face and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? What is your Pursuit of Happiness?

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