Happy on purpose

Just the other day, someone very close to me asked me if I was happy. To me, happiness is nothing more than an incidental side effect, perhaps an aggregation of emotion that stems from feeling like we are doing what we’re supposed to do. I don’t really strive for it, but rather just know it will occur as the result of fulfilling my individual mission statement.

For me, it stems from seeing evidence that I’m having a positive impact in the lives around me, from leaving a better world in my wake. It also builds when I take the time to appreciate the utter phenomenon the world is already.

When the world is as tumultuous and chaotic as ours, I have to look a little deeper into the nooks and crannies for that evidence and focus more on the little things that I can do to make a difference.

Happy enough?

I watched the movie Waitress last night, which incidentally is a very well-written movie, poignant on many levels. One scene was particularly powerful, between the main character (Jenna) and her boss (Cal).

Jenna: Cal, are you happy? I mean, when you call yourself a happy man, do you really mean it?
Cal: You ask a serious question, I’ll give you a serious answer: Happy enough. I don’t expect much. I don’t get much, I don’t give much. I generally enjoy whatever comes along. That’s my answer for you, summed up for your feminine consideration. I’m happy enough.

I’ve been running that scene around in my head since the movie ended. Is there such thing as happy enough? To me it seems that once you consider yourself happy enough, you become complacent and stop growing, learning and experiencing new things. Happy enough strikes me as stagnation. But at the same time if you’re never happy enough, do you continually feel unfulfilled?

I don’t think I’d ever settle for happy enough.