The Pursuit of Happiness

A few weeks ago my Advanced class did a reading and discussion activity on the definition(s) of happiness and the human tendency to seek it out. The students followed up with a written piece and Matthias Wolf, from Germany, produced a very interesting and insightful article.

Samia, teacher

The Pursuit of Happiness

by Matthias Wolf

What were your dreams when you were an eighteen-year-old student that had just finished school? Living in a flat with a wife you don´t really love anymore? Working in a job you hate? Going (for two weeks a year) to the same holiday destination you’ve been visiting for the last twenty years?

I don´t think so. When you are young you feel like you have all the possibilities in the world about how to spend your life. You want a job you like. You want a happy family. And, the most important thing for me, you want to try something new. So why do most of the people spend their lives like this instead of taking their chances to get lucky? I am one of these eighteen-year-olds and I want to do better.

I think it´s not going to be easy to live a life that makes you happy every day, because you have to put in a lot of work to get what you want. Sometimes you also need a lot of luck to find the perfect soul mate or an interesting job offer. But if you aren´t afraid to take every chance you get, it´s possible.

You need a strong will to keep on searching for the things that make you happy. The biggest reason people don´t want to change any of their problems is that they are afraid of leaving their comfort zones. It´s easier to stay at your unlucky job than to search, maybe for a longer duration, for a more exciting one. It´s important to make the most of our time. There are so many options to try new things, experience other cultures and travel to interesting destinations in the world.

If i don’t achieve my dream of living a life that makes me happy, I would feel senseless and start thinking about what went wrong. The good thing about it, is that it´s never too late to change it.

Thankfully everybody can decide, on their own, how they want to spend their lives, but ask yourself – are you happy?

Matthias Wolf