“Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life.”

In my classroom, on one of the walls, I have dozens of quotes, quotes that I like, or inspire me, or make me think. Most of these quotes are about kindness, happiness, or wisdom. This may tie in with my personal belief that if you can pull off being kind *and* clever *and* make others happy, you are onto a good thing! So there are quotes from Buddha, passages from the Bible, writings from Roosevelt and Keller…. A real mishmash.

My title quote is up there too and it’s something I’ve been thinking about this evening. It’s attributed to a guy called Burton Hills, who I couldn’t find anywhere online. So if I’ve done a Sarah Palin and inadvertently name checked a white supremacist or similar, I humbly apologise and hope you can forgive me. The guy’s not even on wikipedia!

So that quote, “happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life”, is certainly a quote which I have personally taken on board. For much of my life, I lived in a ‘now’ I didn’t like. I didn’t really deal with the present, and the past was a dark and dingy room, inhabited by mess and disarray, haunted by spectres and ghosts and all too real monsters. So I took refuge in the hope of the future, in dreams, in aspirations…

As coping mechanisms go, it’s a pretty tame one, but it’s still not the best way to live your life. Looking forward to stuff is a great and powerful thing (as I type I’m looking forward to Bonfire Cottage, K:VI, cuddles, the end of term, Christmas, and Dylan Moran. For starters!) but they are not all there is. They are not stopping me enjoying the here and now. Back then, I wanted to get to the next thing. I lived for things to come – that party, that event, that hurdle to leap over. When I got my degree…I’d be happy! When I lost ten more pounds…. I’d be happy! When that guy called…. I’d be happy!

And do you know what? It didn’t really work out. No one thing was going to fix me and let me be happy. Because happiness is not a destination. It’s a method of life. It’s certainly a huge part of how I live now.

I’d say now, that I’m a genuinely happy person. That doesn’t mean I face every moment with an inane grin (just this evening I hit a brief low for example – stress, some mean-spiritedness from others, and some worries piled up), but it does mean that my ‘mode’ is one of being happy. And that’s just how I operate now.

I didn’t change overnight…but a change happened. It took several years, but it happened. I think this happiness and joy had always been there, but a lot of the darkness and tough times had just buried it somewhat, like rocks on top of gemstones. But now, I like being happy. I like finding solutions instead of problems. I like believing in people. I like counting blessings. I like being grateful. I like telling people how amazing they are. Because I know many, many amazing people.

I also like bed. And that is what it is time for now.

Hope your week is going well!



  1. Nicole
    12th November 2008 / 12:18 am

    I’m glad you are able to count your blessings. I am a lot like you. I am a happy person, but that surely does not mean I don’t go through struggles. But I can always find happiness in all that I have been blessed with.Have a good sleep and a good day tomorrow!

  2. whatigotsofar
    12th November 2008 / 1:47 am

    I like that quote. I also like bed. Bed truly is special. I will be going soon too.

  3. Siobhan
    12th November 2008 / 11:32 am

    I firmly belive in that. It is nice to have things to look forwrad to but putting your happiness on hold in the whole “If I do that, when I do that…” way is eventually rather self defeating, I knwo it was for me as it blinded me to happiness in the here and now. I sitll need to work on it though. And thanks for the quote!

  4. Wiwille
    12th November 2008 / 5:19 pm

    Bed is good. I need one for work.

  5. Bethany
    12th November 2008 / 7:48 pm

    Excellent thoughts on a meaningful quote. 🙂

  6. Anonymous
    12th November 2008 / 8:15 pm

    I like bed too.And you.Mlle Wilson xx

  7. Riot Kitty
    12th November 2008 / 11:03 pm

    Thanks for the quote, and this sweet post!

  8. rawbean
    13th November 2008 / 2:17 am

    I just stopped by to tell you that I got a card from your kids!! Awhhh so cute! Little Jimi….awh. Too much.

  9. bekah
    13th November 2008 / 11:34 pm

    amen! its this method of thinking that led me down a slippery slope into anorexia. from one country mouse to another, good post!

  10. Hannah
    17th November 2008 / 8:48 pm

    That’s how I want to be. I just can’t figure out how to get there. Well done you for managing it xxx

  11. Chick
    18th November 2008 / 1:31 pm

    I like that quote too.I live that way right now…always looking forward to the next thing…hanging on by a thread, you’re right to enjoy the journey, I’m going to try it that way too.

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