Why is HAPPINESS so hard to obtain when it’s the thing we all want in life?

There’s no shortage of it and we have the gift of free will to track it down and put it in our pocket, yet most of us don’t get the experience of emptying it out onto our nightstand at the end of the day.

It’s possible we’re looking too hard.

We dedicate our lives to finding it, spend years charting a path and looking under stones, seeking out experts in robes and ivory towers. We ask other people. Marry other people. We get sidetracked by quests for stability, for family, for notoriety, for wisdom. We trip over piles of coins and follow its shimmering path back to the source, where it spits out of a well like confetti. And as the coins drop from the sky like rain through our outstretched fingers and into our pockets, we’re disappointed that the well of HAPPINESS isn’t anywhere nearby.

I see people looking all the time. It’s my job, as a career counselor, to look with them. They never say it out loud: “Cliff, I’m looking for happiness,” but that’s what all of them are telling me.

They tell me about the stones they’ve turned over and we turn over some more and at the end of our session, they feel good but often don’t notice. I see that they’re laughing or breathing more easily than they were an hour ago, so I tell them this. I point to the thing that’s happening within them but often they’re still focusing on the notes they took and the plan they’re developing.

And it’s a good plan, but really just another distraction.