Jan. 18 – Happiness can’t be forced.

“Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne

It’s helpful to remember that we can’t force happiness into our lives. Happiness isn’t a goal that we can mark on journals and then one day celebrate our great achievement.

When we look back in our lives there’s never going to be a moment where we can say “Ah-ha! There it is! There was the day I finally achieved the happiness I was looking for.” Happiness is a feeling and as such it’s fleeting—never staying in one place for long but always around the next corner if you know where to look.

It’s okay to not be happy as well. In order for us to appreciate that feeling of spontaneous joy, love and community, we also need to feel what it’s also like to live without those benefits. There’s no better way to appreciate something than to recognize its absence in our life.

That’s a good thing because it gives us a starting place for change. We can use these other moments of difficulty and trial in our life to focus our attention on what matters—like finding love and community. Find these things and you’ll find your moments of happiness.