The Right To Be Happy

Apologies No


Happiness is best achieved when it is a clear goal of pursuit.

You don’t have to apologize because you want to be happy in life.

You do not have to feel that you are less sophisticated or more selfish because happiness is a direct and clear goal.  You are not less holy.  Those who graduate with degrees in finance are not pretending that making money is not their intent and there are a lot of Ivy League graduates who have prepared for a career in finance who would be best advised to make happiness and not piles of money their more primary pursuit.

You also do not have to pay a suffering fee in order to gain permission to be happy.  You will make mistakes but there is no misery toll to be one of these privileged seekers of happiness. It is not a country club of the saintly who have “given” enough to get in. You will also not have to give up wisdom as financiers and bankers often have done.

It can be a direct pursuit for its own sake, no apologies or reasons need be offered.

In fact, those people most likely to be happy are those who make it a direct pursuit.  I believe that happiness is so important, and it is born out in the research, that most everyone should have the opportunity, if only for a time, to have a happiness coach or guru.

First of all, the pursuit of happiness is a guaranteed right in the American Constitution, right along with life and liberty.Pursuit HappinessMany people aren’t sure if it’s a right.  IT’S A RIGHT.  You want it or not?

You want to suffer and pay a price, go ahead.

It works for some who need to justify their happiness.  Believe it or not, there are those with enough common sense to believe that they are happy.  There are those who, rather than work at it, have discovered happiness as a way of life.

You were made for happiness just like you were made to evolve, and happiness underwrites evolution.  It helps it along enormously.

We are learning more and more about some of the factors.  But the “how” is not nearly as important as the decision to be clear about pursuing it.  The “how” will follow the intention.  Gratitude probably leads the list, at least right now.

What is important to realize is that you do not help your pursuit of happiness by thinking you have to delay it.  You are just simply ignorant of the research if you think happiness is a by-product you can’t directly pursue.

In discovering happiness, people have the right to do it wrong, to make mistakes, to adjust course.  Of course there will be those who will be silly and frivolous about it: but they will not outnumber those in finance who are ridiculous in their pursuit and even more frivolous with making meaning in their lives.

Energy Intention

 Each day, ask yourself as often as you can, will what I am thinking, feeling, doing, planning, move me toward being happy or away from it?

There will be a growing response in your gut that will answer the question with greater and greater accuracy, if you intend that it will.  We learn from asking that question, not pretending that we are above it, more sophisticated and learned or loftier in our pursuits.

We learn our way by being honest in our right to the pursuit of it, not in lying to ourselves and others that we will come by it by being above it with our pretense that it is not what we want essentially.

Our happiness will most bless those who have to put up with us, especially those we seek to “help.”  And it will most inspire and guide those whose noble goal is to understand and relieve suffering; it will renew them and clarify the measure for their own good and the good of others.

© Dr. William K. Larkin 

About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • Dr. gloria wright

    I love the quote: “Energy flows where intention goes.” Setting our intention and our goal on being happy seems to be a process and a goal. You cannot give it a check mark when you “get it.” It is never done – but can be a state of being.

    I still remember hearing Joseph Campbell saying, “When you think you know God, break his back.” I was playing a tape in my car and pulled into the post office parking lot (literally remembering) and rewound the tape to hear it again. My understanding of the premise is that knowing God is never DONE – check mark. You will continue to seek and reshape your relationship with God and your meaning.

    The same is true with happiness. You can know happiness one moment and be in pursuit of it in the next instant. It can be a state – but not a constant. It is a goal that is ongoing – like longevity.

    Marie Kondo, bestselling Japanese author says: “Anything that doesn’t make you happy or isn’t absolutely necessary should be touched, thanked and sent on its way.” I think this is true about everything in our lives – not just tangible things. In her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” is the physical component of making choices as to what brings us joy and happiness.

    This is another part of Dr. Larkin’s advice: “Each day, ask yourself as often as you can, will what I am thinking, feeling, doing, planning, move me toward being happy or away from it?” Ask this question regarding your thoughts, feelings, beliefs, things, people, etc. and see if your day results in more happiness than unhappiness…. One day at a time….

  • kathy poehnert

    I hAve ways felt that happiness in and of itself is the best goal out there , and when Asked what I wanted for my son, it was Always “to be happy”. Perhaps it is semantics but I am having a hard time seeing it as a “right”. If someone has a right, then Someone else has a responsibity, and I am the only one responsible for my own happiness. Yes we have the right to pursue it but not sure it is a right in itself. I will have to give this more thought and write more later!

    Ps sorry for typos- I am on my phone!

  • Beverly Harvey

    I have worked with the question: “Each day, ask yourself as often as you can, will what I am thinking, feeling, doing, planning, move me toward being happy or away from it?” for a week now and it has been instrumental in increasing my positivity ratio. Three times a day I pause and note what I’m thinking, feeling, doing, and planning and it has had an amazing impact on my UpSpiral score.

  • Jo-Anne

    it is so liberating to know and feel that the pursuit of happiness is a goal in and of itself, not as a byproduct of a ton of effort, sweat equity and suffering. What an incredible weight that is lifted from one’s shoulders when one starts to truly believe this simple fact. Suffering isn’t fun and while it sometimes is a part of our lives for a myriad of reasons, it is amazing to know that in moving forward we all have choices to make, and who wouldn’t CHOOSE Happiness?
    I also love the quote,”Energy Flows where intention goes”! I try to remind myself of this quote, which is often read or spoken, but not always clearly followed when I/we get caught up in the messiness of life, but it is such a great reminder! Put our intention out to where and what we want, and that is where all the energy will naturally flow. All is and will be well.

  • BAM

    If not me then who? I sometimes ask myself that when my gremlins natter at me. Truth is everyone can be happy not just me. I love the line from this blog “Each day, ask yourself as often as you can, will what I am thinking, feeling, doing, planning move me toward being happy or away from it. I was having a hissy fit melt down an hour ago with technology issues and I certainly wasn’t very happy. I should have stepped back, taken a breather and asked myself that very question. Truth is my cursing and swearing was not making me happy, in fact made me a lot less happy. Had I asked myself the question I might have moved to my usual go to google and ask the question and all kinds of help is available on line for any possible technology problem. That would have spared me half an hour of feeling unhappy. So….I have added that to my list of ANI work and will ask myself that question when I am unhappy.

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