“Happiness is a direction, not a place.” Sydney J. Harris.

How many of us are waiting for the next checkpoint in order to finally allow ourselves to feel happiness?

Be honest, you’ve done this before. We all have. You’ve set a goal for yourself and thought that everything would magically change or improve in yourself the moment you reached it.

Then, you reached the goal. And, nothing changed.

That’s because happiness and fulfillment are not things that are conditional. They don’t magically appear when we get into a certain relationship, make a certain amount of money, or win a certain award. You don’t need to believe me, odds are you’ve probably experienced this yourself.

Why is it that there is always “more”? Sure, you could have a bigger house, or a faster car, or a more expensive outfit that you’re wearing, but why do you really work towards that? If it’s because you think it will be the thing that finally showers joy upon you, there is some bad news:

The experience will be exactly the same as last time.

There is ALWAYS more.

But, only if you need it. You see, “more” becomes a reward, a bonus, a nice to have once you stop allowing it to define you. Sure, we should always want to contribute more, learn more, add more value, be more…but if having more is our ultimate goal, we will always be left disappointed.

The happiest and most fulfilled people are the ones who understand this. They take pride in the journey, even if it means failing. The failing IS the point. Failing is the very thing that allows us to learn, and eventually succeed. Whatever success means to us.

Failing is the very thing that enables us to practice and explore. To try things we haven’t yet attempted. To get feedback, and also give it.

Failing is not the opposite of success – it is a necessary step on the journey to creating something that succeeds. It is quite literally part of the path.

The key to happiness, then, is to choose it along the way. To enjoy every step of the journey as if it quite literally IS the destination. The passion is along the path.

We unlock our own personal power when we understand this, because we stop relying on results in order to feel good about ourselves. We stop waiting for approval, permission, or a reward.

We begin to wake up every day and love the work we are putting in, because “someday” is not a day on the calendar. Life is happening at this very moment, and robbing yourself of happiness for a manufactured outcome does nothing but waste it.