Enjoying the Journey, Not for the Finish Line

Joy or happiness isn’t an end state.

Last month I ran a marathon. As I ran, I knew I would finish this journey in the middle of the desert at some point. When I got to 13 miles – I said, “yes, halfway there!” When I got to 20 miles – I thought 6 miles to go. And when I got to 26 miles – a sign posted said “there are no more miles left.” That was such a relief!

Then of course – FINISHING the race! I crossed the finish line with my hands in the air. I was DONE.

Happiness does not work that way. There’s no half way point. There’s no point where you can say “i’m almost there.” There’s not a finish line we can cross with our arms in the air.. yelling “I made it! I am now happy!”

For most of us we don’t get to reach a state where we are just happy. We don’t reach a state where bad stuff doesn’t happen to us anymore.

The trick is – to find joy in the good, the bad, the ugly – and the heartbreaking.

I talk about how to do that on Happiness in Progress. What do you do to stay positive when you’re stuck in the negative?

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