Why we want more…

Are you happy in life? What appears to be a simple enough question has a myriad of very complex answers. Lately I’ve found one unmistakably trend when having “life” conversations with people (including myself) – yes I do speak to myself and I happen to think that I make a great conversationalist. The trend is best summarised in one word. Unhappiness…

In an age of excess most people find that no matter how hard they try or how much they change things, they are still not content. At first I thought this was limited to my circle of friends and family yet for 8 hours a day at work; in the midst of all the conversations people were having, one thing seemed to stand out; people were generally very unhappy.

After thinking about it I surmised that for some the cause of their discontent is relationships. For others it’s their appearance, maybe even health problems. Yet for some it’s a combination of things, they’re just unhappy. For me it was work coupled with the long held belief I had that if you’re unhappy at work you should move on. It seemed the simplest of solutions and I spent many afternoons’ day dreaming about the next Job that would finally give me happiness and a purpose in life.

To cut the long story short I found that there was much truth in the commonly held sentiment; the grass is rarely ever greener on the other side and in my case after a very promising start and an initial high within weeks of starting my new job that sinking feeling of “I need to get out of here” had returned…

So what then does this mean? Is the problem in life the things that make us unhappy or are we the cause and root of our own happiness. If the problem does indeed lie with the things that cause our discontent are we then destined to a foolhardy pursuit of happiness? Is our sole purpose in existence to pursue the things that make us happy?

Whilst pondering this thought the words of CS Lewis seemed to ring true “If you find yourself with a desire that no experience in this world can satisfy,the most probable explanation is that you were made for another world.” What then does this mean for our pursuit of happiness? Again CS Lewis had some interesting insights to this, “God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing.”

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