what if your purpose in life was to pursue happiness?


It has been said that our purpose in life should be to pursue happiness. This does not mean pursue things that make us happy, but rather pursue things that bring us happiness - health, being challenged intellectually, connecting with people and doing good.


our purpose in life

is to pursue happiness

in the fullest sense

What if Your Purpose in Life was to Pursue Happiness?

Hello -- Marc Miller with the Gunnar Project.  The purpose or the mission of the Gunnar Project is to inspire and encourage people how to pursue happiness every day.  

In 1998, a book was published call the Art of Happiness. It was a book that was written by the Dalai Lama, and in the very first chapter -- the very first sentence of the very first chapter -- the Dalai Lama says that our purpose in life should be to pursue or to seek happiness.

This is a very interesting concept, and again it goes back to one of the other topics that we’ve talked about here a little bit -- this idea of happy with a “y” versus happi with an “i”.  If you look at the things that make you happy: getting a good cup of coffee, spending time with friends, listening to music.  If I were to go out and the purpose of my life was to pursue those things, I don’t think that’s going to be a very enriching life.  I think you’d look back on that life after a week or two, maybe a month, and you’d say “Wow -- this is pretty selfish… this is not really what life’s all about.  I need more than this.”   On the other side, if you look at sort of the definition of happiness and you define happiness as serving others, and showing gratitude, and a connection with a Higher Power (however you want to define that), if you looked at learning new things, and being creative and teaching and giving back to others and living a life that’s healthy -- all these things are sort of part of this bigger definition of happiness.  If you took your life and your purpose was to pursue happiness in that regard, I think that almost every day you would look back on your life on that day and you’d say “This is good -- this is the direction that I need to be going.  This is the direction that I really feel -- I feel like this is my true calling -- I’m really headed toward this.”

As I’ve asked the question, “What do you think about this idea that your purpose in life should be to pursue happiness?”, most of the people -- again of the thousands of people that we’ve talked to in the past year -- the typical answer I get to that is: “I couldn’t do it, that’s very selfish.” and again I think that’s coming from this idea of pursuing happy versus pursuing happiness.

So, food for thought:  what would your life be if you woke up in the morning and your purpose for life was to pursue happiness, knowing that happiness constituted being grateful, serving others, being healthy, being engaged and stimulated, having a great connection with your family, with your friends, and with your community.  I think a life that’s filled with those things -- is a life that’s filled with purpose and I think it’s a life that you can sort of really rally around.

Again, in the book The Art of Happiness written by the Dalai Lama, published in 1998, the very first sentence in the first chapter was that your purpose in life should be to pursue happiness.  Food for thought!

This is Marc with the Gunnar Project -- thanks for listening and look forward to talking to you again soon.