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The End and The Means

I am a strong believer  that life is a journey and not a destination.  As such, I don’t think there is ever an endpoint in life (except death, maybe) where you can sit back and objectively decide if that fantasy of “happily ever after” actually exists.

Obviously, the “End” doesn’t have to be the literal end; Figuratively, it can represent a specific moment or accomplishment.  I guess, with respect to the definition of “happily ever after,” the end would be the happiness.  But, what about the “ever after” part?

I don’t believe there is such a thing as “happily ever after.”  Why, you ask?  Well, that statement implies that once the happiness has been achieved, it plays out for eternity in a passive, self-renewing manner.  I happen to believe, however, that happiness is one of those things that must be worked on continuously.  Just like happiness never happens without effort, it can’t be sustained without continuous effort either.

Am I happy now?  Yes.  I think so.  In a general sense, of course.  I have good days and bad days, but when I get down to the core of everything, I feel a sense of peace and pleasure with where my life sits.  Has this always been the case? No.  Not really.  And, it wasn’t that long ago when I believed that happiness in my life was impossible.  That being said, with all my good days and bad days, and everything in between, I am constantly reminded that my happiness is not something that comes easily:  It requires hard work, effort, and constant attention to ensure that I am making the right decisions and constantly re-evaluating my goals.

Important, as well, is the measure to which I determine my happiness.  I am happy because I have a wonderful husband who loves me, I have two beautiful, healthy little boys, I am working towards a career that I’ve dreamed of my whole life, and I’ve surrounded myself with people who love and support me.  Don’t get me wrong, there is some not-so-good stuff too.  However, the less I choose to focus on that stuff, the less it ruins my feelings of happiness in life.  The presence of this not-so-good stuff is also a close and clear reminder that “happily ever after” really only exists in a fairy tale (at least for me).

When deciding if “happily efter after” can ever really exist, I think the answer lies heavily on the Ends and the Means.  We always ask, does the end justify the means?  What, though, does this really mean with the end is happiness?  If true, raw happiness is the ultimate goal in life, then of course the means would be justified.  I think the real question becomes, do the means justify the end?  It might not make sense at first, bu if we are defining happiness by the things we do to attain happiness, we must first decide if those things prove to be reasonable to achieve happiness in the first place.  I think by taking a close look at what we do to bring about true, endurable happiness, we can really decide if that happiness we seek will ever come.

I am happy now and I know what I did to get to this point.  I see happiness in my future because I will continue working on the challenges and tasks that got me to where I am today.  My “happily ever after” is here, in the now, and it will only continue if I continue to work hard at maintaining it.  Just like the idea that life is a journey, so it is for happiness.

In response to the Daily Prompt: Happily Ever After

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