My Search for Happiness is Not a Search
I just finished watching Hector and the Search for Happiness. If you haven’t seen it you must do. In the movie, Hector the psychiatrist goes on a worldly adventure to ask people what it means to be happy. He discovers many helpful guidelines along the way but the one that had me thinking today was “We all have an obligation to be happy.”
I love the idea of this. I love the possibilities that come from this notion. What if we all felt an obligation to be happy? What if instead of chasing a promotion, or more money, a bigger house, or a fancier car, we felt obligated to be happy? What if instead of worrying about our careers or majors at a young age we worried about how we were going to be happy in the world? How would your decisions change? How would your priorities change? How would the pressure you put on yourself be different? The ways in which you measure your success and value, would they be different?
If I had felt an obligation to be happy I would have left my well-paying job for a job of freedom before I turned 27. If I had felt an obligation to be happy I would have worried less about what men wanted from a woman and more about what I wanted from life, before I was 30. If I had felt an obligation to be happy I would have had more honest relationships with my family and friends from the beginning. If I had felt an obligation to be happy I would have found more ways to help people a long time ago. If I had felt an obligation to be happy I would have put my health ahead of my job as soon as I started working at the age of 15. If I had felt an obligation to be happy I would have embraced my entire self way before the age of 38.
And if we all felt this obligation to be happy and we all made choices and took actions that perpetuated that happiness how would this world be different? How would the people around you be different? What about your expectations of life and of the future? Would Moms take more time for themselves? Would Dad’s work less? Would Sisters be more accepting? Would Brothers share more? Would bosses be more encouraging? Would employees be more genuine? Would companies be more altruistic? Would politicians be more empathetic?
Let’s practice and find out….You, we, everyone, has an obligation to be happy.