I was at our local Jamba Juice post-yoga today, browsing a book called "Be Happy" that the store had on display, while waiting for my favorite Passion Berry Breeze. The book had a bunch of quotations by famous people, or famous quotations by people, you know the type. But as those books go, this one wasn't half bad.
One quotation in particular caught my eye and had me mulling over it the rest of the day. I don't remember who said it, but it went something like this: The greatest epiphany you reach in life is realizing that your life is your own; don't depend on anyone, don't blame anyone or anything, no excuses. You are responsible for the quality of your life.
I guess I've believed that for a long time -- it's a great theory--and simple, you would think. But accepting your responsibility for your own happiness when it comes to practice is a lot harder.
Right from the time I was a teenager and people would ask me what I wanted to do in life, I'd always think (but not say) I want to be happy. And somehow, in my naivete, I assumed that meant I wasn't terribly ambitious or that just meant I was lazy. Now, older and hopefully wiser, I realize that I have great ambition. Happiness takes some work. It involves mental strength and making smart choices and doing what's right for you and your loved ones.
And then, working for happiness just gets harder when you realize that what makes you happy is always changing. Happiness isn't about meeting needs. It's about creating new ones. So you're always learning, always growing, always working towards an always-changing goal. And if you're lucky, Happiness will travel alongside you as you journey through life.