The Pursuit of Happiness

The hardest job many of us will ever have in our lives has nothing to do with work.

It has to do with life. With developing a basic understanding of our purpose. With pursuing that purpose. And with making sure that purpose and that pursuit brings us happiness.

Because happiness is really and truly all that matters.

The happiness you feel in this life is a radiant force that touches everyone close to you and adds to their happiness. It affects everything you do and how you do it. It affects the people you do these things with and, in turn, how they do the things they do.

You read a lot of stuff about how to be an effective manager or leader. And the one common thread is that the leaders who are the most effective are the ones who are the happiest.  The ones who get joy from their work. The ones who can inspire others because they themselves are inspired by their love of what they do.

And this principle is not just restricted to business. It’s universal.

Students learn more from teachers who are happy to be teachers. Whole countries can excel under the leadership of people who derive joy from leadership.

Look at John Kennedy and how he was able to inspire a whole country.

Look at Martin Luther King and how he was able to inspire a civil rights movement. Look at the Dalai Lama and how he is able to inspire hope in places where hope is hard to come by at the best of times. Just by spreading messages of peace and harmony and equality that people instinctively know comes from the heart.

These people inspire countless others and together they form a movement that keeps on growing.

I spend a lot of time looking at the world. I’m not thrilled with what I see. There are a lot of things that need to change. A lot of things that have gone on too long taking the world down the wrong path. It’s pretty dark and dreary and it does not inspire happiness.

But lately, I have started to feel strongly that the best way to defeat the dark side is not to criticize it, but to extol the virtues of the other side.

Because when you look closely on the other side, you see that there is a lot to be optimistic about. We are growing as a species. People are generally smarter. People are healthier. People are more inquisitive. And people who are following their happiness are coming up with great ideas all the time.

If you open yourself up to the world and focus your thinking on the positive, you will almost immediately see that there are many, many people out there working to make this world a better place.

They are creating new ideas and technologies to slow down the pollution of the earth.

They are creating and building businesses based on and powered by alternative energy sources, which as time goes by, will eliminate the need for exploiting the planet on the scale to which it is being exploited now.

They are creating new kinds of architecture to house people and businesses in comfortable and innovative work environments that promote greater productivity and harmony.

They are inventing technologies that are allowing people to share ideas and build products in new and environmentally responsible ways.

They are developing amazing new ways to grow food in controlled environments that do not require chemicals.

They are devising new treatments for disease and ways to keep people healthier to reduce the horrendous burden that disease inflicts on the health care industry.

The list goes on and on and on. And one by one, individuals, groups, and even whole countries are being inspired by these people and their ideas.

And this is what will change the world for the better.

The idea that more and more people will be able to work in these new areas and derive real happiness and inspiration from them is something I personally find quite inspiring myself.

Because as new businesses form and grow, run by truly forward-thinking people who understand that the earth is not a piggy bank that we can keep robbing, the changes will increase, both in speed and frequency. And the ideas will mature. And the world will become a different place.

But going forward, it’s very much going to be about how many of us support these technologies and ideas or are willing to put their own ideas out there. It’s about how many of us discover that happiness lies in truly being part of the solution. It’s about how many of us are willing to push for change and realize that this is actually the ideal time to do that.

I, for one, am very happy to see that it’s off to a flying start and the future looks a lot brighter than some people would have you believe.

But the bottom line is that our happiness is what we choose to make it. And our world and our future in it is about how willing we are to make it happen.



Jim Murray
Jim Murray
I have been a writer since the age of 14. I started writing short stories and poetry. From there I graduated to writing lyrics for various bands and composers and feature-length screenplays, two of which have been produced. I had a  20-year career in senior positions in Canadian and multi-national agencies and a second career, which began in 1989, (Onwords & Upwords Inc), as a strategic and creative resource. Early in 2020, I closed Onwords & Upwords and effectively retired. I am now actively engaged, through blogging and memes, in showcasing businesses that are part of the green revolution. I am also writing short stories which I will be marketing to film production companies. I live with my wife, Heather, in the beautiful Niagara Region of southern Ontario, after migrating from Toronto, where I spent most of my adult life.

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  1. Oh, I needed this reminder and burst of inspiration, Jim! Thank you! I think the more people who grow in their realization of what brings them joy, how they want to serve, that joy is service, our world will indeed become a beautiful place for more and more human beings-that we will live in harmony with the natural world and one another. I chose awhile ago to turn my life in the direction of those who could hear messages of holistic transformation, of healing, and all those who continue to inspire me-like you have right now. Thank you so much!!!
    With much gratitude,
    Passionately supporting people living lives they create from love

    • Thanks Laura….It took a long time for me to get to this place in my head. In advertising your have to be wearing a lot of armour and carrying powerful weapons of persuasion. But when I got out on my own, I started to realize that I was feeding the wrong machine and made a conscious effort to only work with individuals and businesses that were trying to make a positive difference in the world. And in doing that, I changed myself. I look at my old life as basically the road I took to find my true purpose.

  2. Jim, Thanks for offering up some great insights! I love the way you are living inside the big questions. We all have choices how we take on our own happiness and the role we can play. I have found as I get older I gravitate t those who are asking these questions and choosing ‘happy’; the ones who are walking their talk and making a real difference for ‘good’. #happinesswins

  3. Wow, thank you for that comment Simon. I have been working very hard at shifting gear since I spent much of the last four year in attack mode. You can probably guess why. It feels very good to have a venue to work in and write more philosophical pieces. So I applaud Dennis and his team for just being.

  4. Dear Jim,

    What an exceedingly fine example you are. You have, as it were, hit the nail on the head. Yes there are many disastrous things going on in the world, and all too easy to focus on such destructive and depressing elements. ‘Happiness’; your article prompted me to investigate the origin of the word. 2500 years ago! And it remains today, but often needs a different view on life around us and the world in general. As you intimated, there are many people who are instinctively negative; always seeing the bad things in life. I agree with you wholeheartedly that there are many good things happening and happiness is not as illusive as some might believe. Viewing life from a negative standpoint only produces more negativity and depression. I am a firm believer in positivity and it is a clinical fact (everyone is unique, so some may loose out on the endorphins ultimately positive effect).

    Jim, I applaud you for your enlightening, which hopefully when read by people who are willing to at least give happiness a chance through viewing their little world, the bigger scene and the global elements will at least endeavor to give positivity, kindness and ultimately happiness a try. Should they tend to be negative, they have nothing to loose but try. Tell them that we’re all unique, so if the concept (reality) does not work, thy don’t need to go an a negative spiral. Negativity only has one direction and that is down. Positivity and kindness and happiness. Offering kindness; being kind can open up the way to happiness. And happiness is there if you wish to accept the fact that is indeed out there.

    Super article, Jim and most certainly timely.

    Simon Lever
    Championing Positivity, Empathy Kindness

    • Sorry Simon. I did not get back to you right away. I think I just didn’t scroll far enough down to see your comment. Thank you for the kind words. Giving happiness a chance it a great way to put if that I’m sure a lot of people will relate to.