7 Paths to Take in the Life-long Pursuit of Happiness

In my literature class arose a question on happiness.What is it? Is it a true state of being or is it an illusion we aspire to gain as if it were attainable? Perhaps there is no way of ‘being’ happy and happiness lies in it’s pursuit.

So, in contradiction to those posts on how to ‘be’ happy, I’m going to write about seven paths to take in the pursuit of happiness because it’s not the destination we ought to be concerned about but the journey.

So here goes…

1. Put on a pair of comfortable shoes and go out for a walk. Alone. Walk, walk and then keep walking, listening to your favourite playlist and stop occasionally to people watch. You’ll enter the brink between connection and disconnection one rarely feels but needs at times to recharge from a harrowing and seemingly monotonous daily cycle. It’s not as simple as eat, sleep, rave, repeat, after all. 

*If you can’t actually go for a walk, take a mental one. Close your eyes and allow your mind to wander. Most likely, our minds delve deeper into what are called mental laboratories like the woods or the sea. 

2. Embrace new phases without wondering if they’ll last longer than a day or a month and immerse yourself in it. Do you know what slam poetry is? Or the Beat Movement? How about method acting or McDonald’s triad? Go forth and find what comes to you (which may very well be a juxtaposition). Talk to people about it, spread whatever you find, stalk the subject on the internet and get really into it. Everyone says obsessions or what I like to call momentary passion is a phase as if were a bad thing and we should be an eternal rock in the sea of life but that’s not true. Phases are the stages of life through which we transition into the person we will become and keep becoming because you will never ‘be’ yourself. You are becoming yourself.

3. Cook a meal and wonder at the process of taking separate ingredients and integrating them into a wholesome or perhaps not-so-wholesome dish. Eat it, share it but don’t waste it because food is what I would say is an effective path to being happy. Sometimes you can bake a cake and eat it yourself, literally.

4. Reminisce. The past can be a fond friend if you would like it to be. Re-watch one of your favourite cartoons from the 90’s because they were pure gold. Watch the Powerpuff Girls, The Fairly Odd Parents, Scooby Doo, Codename Kids Next Door, I could go on but you know what I’m talking about. It’d do you good to let out your inner child every now and then. It keeps you young at heart and reminds how simple things can be if you choose to see them that way.

5. Help out at an animal shelter whenever you can because I guarantee it will change your perspective on life. Dogs and cats can do that you know. (It’s their superpower.)

6. Christina Yang was on to something when she said “Dance it out!” in the face of adversity. Turn on some music and dance around the house like you couldn’t care less. Dance dirty, do the robot, anything as long as it engages your body. It should let out a good rush of endorphins or feel-good hormones which activate the pleasure centre in your brain. Biology plays a role in the pursuit of happiness too.

7. Painting is pleasing in ways I cannot describe and art doesn’t have to be an escape for only the artistic. Take a kids colouring book and colour in it with a pack of crayons. If you didn’t like colouring in the lines when you were a kid  and you maintain that one shouldn’t be taught that confinement is acceptable then colour outside the lines without a care in the world. It’s not like it’s going to be hung in a gallery or critiqued by others. It’s just for you. Whether you decide to save it or toss it, it will still be time well spent recharging.


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