What The Heck Is Happiness Anyway?

I have a question for you. As you go through your day, are you actually on autopilot like Adam Sandler in the movie Click? We hear it all the time…make each day count…don’t take a single day for granted…bla bla bla…and…wait wait wait…MORE BLA. These words have become rhetorical cliché in just about anything you read or watch on TV.


The thing is, it’s not bad advice, but does anybody really know what it takes to do that? Does being happy mean you are in orgasmic bliss every second of your day? I don’t know…I feel like doing what you love can be stressful sometimes. You sacrifice things, you stay up all night tossing and turning because your mind won’t stop bossing you around, your life is not your own, you worry about everything and everyone, you feel exhausted and still can’t sleep, but…you love it and it makes you happy. Really?! Is that how this is all supposed to go down?

The song for this post is “Buy Dirt” by Jordan Davis featuring Luke Bryan. You can find the song in a lot of places, but my favorite version is when Jordan and Luke sang and filmed it live on the TODAY show. I mean, if you can sound this good live and film the entire video in a single take with one long shot like this, you are…totally…freaking…awesome! Their first bump at the end is well deserved. Here is the link (you can click and listen while you read the rest of this post): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73RHlbDlAJo

A few days before he turned 80

He was sittin’ out back in a rocker

He said, “What you been up to lately?”

I told him, “Chasing a dollar.”

We all have passions…purposes we feel we need to fulfill…people we love that we want to take care of…children who we want to teach the things nobody every taught us, but that we learned along the way…and other voids we want to…wait…we NEED to…fill. That’s life. How boring and unfulfilling would it be if we got everything we wanted just because we exist and take up space? Some of us are numb to all of this and distracted by toxic relationships, entitled attitudes, jealousy, laziness, arrogance, anger, addictions, feelings of insecurity, etc. etc. etc.

Happiness is complicated. There is no true recipe for it. Additionally, being happy means something completely different for each and every one of us.

However, I do believe there is a general framework, which can be applied to set us up to successfully build and maintain a life that makes us happy because it keeps us in the realm of positivity and good intentions…a life that gives us purpose and makes us feel like we are an instrumental part of something greater than ourselves.

And in between sips of coffee

He poured this wisdom out

Said, “If you want my two cents on making a dollar count:”

Before you get caught on that ladder

Let me tell you what it’s all about

Find you a few things that matter

That you can put a fence around

And then he laid it out

Buy dirt

Find the one you can’t live without

Get a ring, let your knee hit the ground

Do what you love but call it work

And throw a little money in the plate at church

Send your prayers up and your roots down deep

Add a few limbs to your family tree

Watch their pencil marks and the grass in the yard all grow up

The truth about it is

It all goes by real quick

You can’t buy happiness

But you can buy dirt

There are quite a few metaphors in these lyrics, but they make sense to me. Maybe all we need to do is not screw things up, really try, and then have faith in what happens next. Maybe that’s the magic recipe for happiness.

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