Recently we had a guest speaker at our school speaking about the pursuit of happiness, and I was absolutely in awe at the thoughtful inquiries two of my students asked during the assembly. Here were their insightful questions (though not verbatim):
- What do you do if on your quest to find happiness you fail?
- What do you do if in pursuit of seeking your own happiness, you interfere with the pursuit of happiness of another?
I made a point to tell them that I was very proud of their thoughtful questions…and responded with my own “thoughts” because their questions really made me think as well! Anyway, here’s my thoughts, respectively…
I’m not sure there is an easy answer to the question you posed. When things don’t go our way, and when these things are often what we find happiness in, we can become quickly discouraged. However, after hearing your questions, I was brought back to a motivational note I read last week that I had saved in my RSS feed: “There’s no need to keep doing something that doesn’t work. Yet there is no reason to give up. There is a way. You’ll find it when you persist.” I think through this perseverance, through this persistence, we are able to maintain our focus, goals, and happiness…even if it means finding another way to achieve it.
I can guarantee that there will absolutely come a time (if there hasn’t already) in which you will be faced with doing what makes YOU happy, though you know another may be losing his/her happiness because of you. We have to remember other people’s feelings before we act…however, I am also a firm believer that in order to help (i.e. make someone happy) someone, you have to be able to help (i.e. make yourself happy) yourself first. In other words, you have to take care of you, before you can TRULY take care of someone else. (If that makes sense.)
I try to tell my students that we, teachers, are always learning too. And that’s part of the reason why I love my job because whether they realize it or not, my students make me think and help me learn every day too!
Anyway, just some food for thought 🙂