If we pursue our passions, happiness will be our constant reward.
Why do we say that? Is happiness the only thing worth striving for?
I personally don’t think so.
Dare I say happiness is overrated as a goal?
Achieving something, completing something, making the attempt to do either of those, and failing at something are worth the time.
Happiness may not be part of the equation. It may not have been a fundamental driver in the decision to start the project, the song, the conversation, the journey, the job, the task at hand.
Satisfaction, growth, despair, frustration, ecstasy may be present, or some combination of all of those concurrently.
It isn’t realistic to be happy all the time. It may be a goal to achieve acceptance, peace, to not be attached to outcome. Happiness, not so much. Happiness, like every other emotion is transient.
And if the outcome is tied to happiness, the result may be made smaller.
I’m thinking balance is the point
I was recently in the recording studio, having my usual love/hate relationship with my voice, the song I wrote, the entire experience.
Someone asked me, was it fun though? Did it make you happy?
No, I wouldn’t say it was fun. It was a focussed attempt to meld my thoughts and feelings and lyrics into something that sounded sincere. It was not eating enough food and eating too many Fisherman’s Friends.
I wouldn’t say it made me happy. Satisfied, fulfilled, judgemental, those make the list.
Don’t get me wrong, I would never give up music. I have been doing it a long time and will continue as long as I have something to say.
Every time I write something I think: I might have something here, it quickly spirals to what was I thinking, and then creeps its way back to something in between love and doubt.
Then I record or perform it anyway.
I’m not brilliant, I’m not an especially talented singer/musician. And yet I love creating and performing. When I get that right moment, that complete connection, there doesn’t need to be perfection, only the intention of being there and invested in what I am saying/singing.
There are many things about music that I love.
When I am on stage, or in someone’s living room or in a backyard performing, I’d say that was fun.
When I am laughing at myself trying to improve my phrasing or my ukulele playing or reaching for a better word, that can be fun.
It’s not why I do it.
Passion can be defined as a state of strong feeling or belief in something. Passion can be any strong feeling
I will keep my passion, and my sadness, loneliness, love, connection, I will keep it all.
I will keep the entirety of my human experience.
It won’t look like yours, and my reasons for doing or not doing will be rooted in my experience and my desire for growth or a different outcome.
It may bring me joy, and it doesn’t have to.
The pursuit is enough for me.