Merriam Webster defines “pursue” as “to follow and try to capture (something or someone) for usually a long distance or time…to try to get or do something over a period of time.”

Pursuing happiness is a self-evident, inalienable right, according to more than 50 men who signed the United States Declaration of Independence more than two hundred years ago.

But what if they got it wrong? Is happiness something we pursue? Or allow?

We all have goals, dreams, objectives, milestones. Some of them are personal, some professional or academic, some noble, some self-centered. In most cases, though, if the happiness is in the achievement, we’re all doomed to be unhappy in the pursuit, because there will always be something more “out there” for us to “follow and try to capture” – something bigger, faster, sooner, thinner, richer…fill in the blank.

If the happiness is in the pursuing (the “i-n-g” is important here), then we’re living our dreams and goals using our talents, gifts, curiosities and interests; we’re growing, stretching and adding value as a goal, not just toward a goal.

Knowing happiness to be a “now” state instead of a “then” state changes pursuit of happiness into pursuit as happiness. So happiness can be ours whenever we’re ready.

Now’s a good time.

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“Forgiveness has deeper rewards than excusing someone for how they have hurt us. The deeper healing comes in the exchange of our resentments for inner freedom. At last, the wound, even if never acknowledged by the other person can heal, and our life can continue.” – Mark Nepo